In yet another incident of mob violence, a suspect believed to be Zimbabwean was beaten to death by community members at Kurhuleni last Wednesday.
Nowa Gonai, was allegedly part of a group of thieves terrorising the community and they allegedly targeted shops owned by foreigners such as Somalians and Ethiopians. The thieves allegedly also broke into houses, stealing household goods. A members of the community who asked to remain anonymous said, “We are tired of the anarchy caused by the thugs. They have been terrorising us for a long time and each time they have committed crime, they simply return to the community.”
Limpopo Mirror reported that during Wednesday’s incident, three of the alleged robbers apparently managed to flee. Residents chased after the suspects and apprehended a man, estimated to be in his thirties. The mob then beat him to death with sticks and stones.
This is the second incident in less than a month where mob justice prevailed and a suspect was beaten and stoned to death. The previous week a resident of Tiyani Ha-Magoro was given the same medicine by the community as they thought he was behind the incidents of robbery in the area.
The spokesperson for the SAPS in Levubu, W/O Solly Mukhola, confirmed the incident. He said that he was concerned about the fact that the community had taken the law into their own hands. “We condemn these acts where communities take the law into their own hands, because South Africa is not a banana republic. We will open a case and those identified will be arrested,” he said.
W/O Mukhola appealed to residents to refrain from taking the law into their hands and said it made the police’s job even more difficult, as they were now unable to question the suspect.
The village’s traditional leader, Chief Nndwakhulu Kharidzha, condemned the brutal killing of the man. He urged all to be united in the fight against crime. “All we want is a crime-free village where one can sleep outside with open gates, without fear of being attacked by thugs. We are now urging all residents to notify their neighbours if they are away from home. Very soon, we will be launching a street watch, which will serve to secure our village,” he said.
The deceased was identified as a well-known pot maker, Nowa Gonai, who originally came from Zimbabwe.
The widow of Gonai, Ms Mavis Rikhotso, expressed her shock at what had happened and described the deceased as a hardworking man who loved all people. “Nobody will ever replace Gonai,” said Rikhotso. “His death has saddened us and robbed us of a hard worker who didn’t deserve to die such a brutal death.”
Gonai is survived by his wife and two children.
Source: Limpopo Mirror