Community members witnessed the incident, which took place on a public street in the middle of the day. Photo: Lizzy Bapela
Lizzy Bapela l Views: 302
A young man from Bela-Bela received a severe shock on Monday, 27 March, when he became a witness to a murder in broad daylight.
The incident took place at Masemola Street in the township. The young man, whose identity cannot be revealed, was still shocked and shivering when he spoke to The BEAT after the incident.
Jospeh (* not his real name), told The BEAT that he had been walking with his friends, coming back from the industrial area, when they saw two young men chasing after the victim and assaulting him. He said the two men chased the victim until they brought him down, where they stabbed him and beat him with rocks.
The suspects said they attacked the victim in retaliation for his alleged attempted rape of their sister on Sunday, 26 March.
“My friends and I were very concerned by the incident,” said Joseph. “We pleaded with them to stop, but they continued regardless. They expressed pride in their act, and said they were not afraid to go to jail for what they were doing. They were stabbing him like an animal while he was just lying there and not screaming.” According to Joseph, bystanders were screaming and begging the men to stop, but to no avail.
Eyewitnesses called both the police and an ambulance service, and the suspects were found at the scene, next to the deceased. Members of the Bela-Bela EMS certified the victim dead at the scene, and the suspects were arrested immediately.
A number of the facts of the case had not yet become clear by the time of going to print, as eyewitnesses and community members told conflicting stories. A number of people mentioned the alleged rape attempt, while others said the victim was known for his thieving ways but was not a rapist. Other community members were of the opinion that the victim was mentally ill, and had not harmed anyone.
Limpopo Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the suspects appeared before the Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 28 March, and said the investigation into the case continues.
The suspects were identified as Abel Makhafola (22) and Frans Chokwe (20) and remain in custody. A source who attended the court proceedings said the identity of the victim was not revealed in court.
Constable Maria Maswanganye, spokesperson for the Bela-Bela Police, told The BEAT that the police were against members of the public taking the law into their own hands.
She urged the community to report crimes to their local police station instead. The Bela-Bela Police can be reached on 017 736 9761/62, 079 889 5614, and 112.
14 months ago 30 March 2017