White River pastor burnt alive in act of mob justice
A pastor from Mganduzweni near White River in Mpumalanga and another man were set alight in an act of mob justice on Thursday.
Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the two men burnt to death and their houses were also torched after community members claimed they were involved in the murder of two young siblings.
Hlathi said the bodies of the six and seven-year-old children were found on Thursday in a ditch.
“According to police reports, the first victim aged 24, was kidnapped at his home which was set alight soon thereafter. He was then forced to lead the mob to the house of the second victim, a 36-year-old pastor. Upon arrival they forcefully grabbed him out and burned both of them alive as well as the house,” Hlathi said.
“Police believe these atrocious deeds may have been fuelled by rumours that are doing the rounds saying that the young siblings may have had certain body parts mutilated.”
Hlathi emphasised that these were mere rumours.
“Preliminary investigation conducted at the scene [suggests] there were no such missing body parts. Members of the community are further urged to refrain from reckless rumour mongering which may have adverse repercussions when coming to sensitive matters like this one,” he said.
Hlathi said that a sangoma may have been consulted who in turn pointed towards the two slain men as being the ones responsible for the siblings’ demise.
“People are requested to bring such information to the relevant authorities instead, as opposed to going on the rampage attacking and killing people,” he added.
Police were now pursuing those who were part of the deadly mob.