Limpopo community corners alleged thief carrying stolen items, assault him to death

A paramedic next to a man lying on the ground

Community members in Mokopane fatally assaulted an unidentified man accused of theft. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/Independent Media

Published Feb 16, 2024


Police in Mokopane are investigating a case of murder and burglary, after the community went on rampage, caught an alleged burglar and brutally assaulted him.

The horrific incident took place on Wednesday, according to Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba.

“The police received reports of the incident at approximately 2.30pm, and they immediately proceeded to the scene. Upon arrival, they found the suspect severely injured and in possession of some of the stolen properties,” he said.

The suspected thief was quickly transported to the hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

An alleged thief was brutally attacked by Mokopane community members, and was rushed to hospital where he succumbed. File Picture

According to preliminary investigations by the police, the brutalized man was linked to two cases of burglary which were committed in the Mokopane area.

However, provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe condemned the incidents of mob justice.

Provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe. Picture: Supplied/SAPS

“We strongly condemn the actions of those who participated in this attack. Vigilantism undermines the rule of law and threatens public safety,” she said.

“It is imperative that justice is served through the appropriate legal channels. We urge anyone with information about this incident to come forward and contact the police, to ensure that those responsible are held accountable according to the law.”

The identity of the murdered suspect has not been revealed at this stage.

The police appealed to anyone with information to contact the Crime Stop number on 086-001-0111 or go to the nearest police station or use My SAPS App.

Last year, IOL reported that police in Limpopo expressed deep concern over the rampant acts of gender-based violence, in which several people were killed “in the most gruesome way” following apparent domestic disputes.

Additionally, the police in Limpopo also highlighted that in many instances, people accused of being perpetrators of crime were killed through acts of vigilantism in the communities.