Teams from the forensic department have been clearing out the charred remains of four alleged criminals who, on Wednesday, were killed in an apparent mob justice attack in Zandspruit, northwest of Johannesburg.
Zandspruit mob attack: What exactly happened?
At this time, no persons have been placed under arrest and charged with multiple cases of murder. From what we understand, at least nine alleged criminals were targeted by the Zandspruity community.
According to an eyewitness who spoke to Newzroom Afrika in a televised segment, commotion was heard in one of the township streets in the wee hours of Tuesday, where the men, who’ve been tagged as robbers, were being assaulted by a large group of Zandspruit residents.
[UPDATE] @malungelob is in Zandspruit, northern Johannesburg, where four men were killed in an alleged mob justice incident this morning. He speaks to community members who say they don’t feel anything for the deceased as they have been tormenting them. #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/7sMSp4VpEe— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) May 19, 2021
Before law enforcement officials could quell the violence, the men were set alight with tyres hanging around their necks. All nine suspects were torched alive in full view of a community that cheered on, totally desensitised to the inhumane practice.
Four of the alleged criminals died on the scene, while five others were successfully rescued by emergency officials and rushed to a nearby hospital where, at the time this article was published, they were being treated with serious wounds.
Pictures: The scene of the gruesome crime
Caught between enforcing the law on a disgruntled community and skirting accountability for failing to protect residents of Zandspruit, Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela opted for a blanket condemnation of the violence.
“Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has condemned the mob justice following the killing of four people and five that were seriously injured and taken to hospital on Wednesday morning, 19 May 2021 at about 02:00,” the short statement read.
These were some of the images taken of the charred suspects, that surfaced on social media moments after the incident was reported.
Mob justice in Zandspruit, 9 suspects beaten and burnt. Four dead and five critical in hospital pic.twitter.com/dDh4Ascq58— SIBONELO ZWANE (@sibonelozwane29) May 19, 2021
Four people burnt to death, five others critically injured in an alleged— Newsnote (@NewsnoteNetwork) May 19, 2021
mob attack on Wednesday morning in Zandspruit. pic.twitter.com/PmlhDQrFIw
Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele confirmed that a team of detectives has been assigned to work the quadruple homicide and attempted murder investigation and that “police are searching for the suspects.”