Community kills trio over cables
Johannesburg - Three men were burnt to death by a mob who accused them of being cable thieves in Lenasia South on Wednesday, Gauteng police said.
The three men were believed to be part of a group who had been stealing electricity cables in an informal settlement in Lenasia South, said Captain Mpande Khoza.
"They said at around 01:00 (they saw) a Nissan bakkie which keeps terrorising the people here and cutting the electricity cable."
Khoza said that replacing the cable cost every household in the settlement R200. Fed up by the thefts, residents organised themselves into patrols armed with whistles and vuvuzelas.
"At around 01:00 they spotted the same bakkie which has been doing this. They blew the whistles and the vuvuzelas and found these men with a gun and a bolt cutter.
"The three men in the back of the bakkie, they ran away, but the three in the cab couldn't escape.
"They tried to use the bakkie to escape but the community came from all angles," said Khoza.
Community members set the bakkie alight with the alleged cable thieves still inside.
Khoza said police were still gathering information about the attack. Much of their information had come from listening to community members who were speaking to journalists.
"They are much more open to the journalists than they are to the police," said Khoza.