Vigilantes in a Cape Town shanty whipped and stoned to death a local ruffian after he was accused of raping a girl of 15 at knifepoint.
A mob from the Crossroads township dragged the 32-year-old from a shebeen just yards from the victim’s home on Sunday morning – a day after the alleged rape.
They beat him with heavy whips before using rocks to finally bludgeon him to death. His body lay in the road for five hours before paramedics came to remove it.
One Crossroads resident told the Cape Times said it had been ‘only a a matter of time’ before people took revenge against the man. He was said to have gone around armed with a knife which he used to rob people of their phones.
‘We don’t regret his killing because if we do not react to these incidents, no one would,’ said the resident, who did not want to be named.
The man had allegedly been one of a pair who had confronted the 15-year-old girl and her friend as they were on their way to another friend’s house on Saturday afternoon.
They forced the two girls into a nearby shack where they raped them.
‘My niece told me they were approached by two men. We know them,’ said the aunt of the 15-year-old victim. ‘She said they showed them knives and dragged them to a backyard shack. That’s when she was raped.
‘She told me the suspect and his accomplice threatened to kill them if they told anyone about the incidents.’
The next morning a so-far unidentified group of locals found one of the alleged rapists in a local bar. They dragged him into the road where they whipped him with sjamboks – a kind of heavy whip traditionally made with rhino hide – before beating his brains out with heavy stones.
Police have taken the 15-year-old girl to a place of safety after she and her family were threatened by the man’s friends – who are believed to be part of a gang.
The girl’s family also say police had smashed their door and pointed a gun at her grandmother as they carried out a search of the property.
Her mother said that officers had been searching for her brother, who they believed to have played a role in dishing out the mob justice. ‘But he was at work when the killing happened,’ she added.
A police spokesman said a murder investigation had been opened and that no arrests had yet been made.