In a suspected gangsterism event in Bethal, Mpumalanga, a 25-year-old Nigerian man was stabbed to death and three women gang raped.
On Friday, a group of five people allegedly chased the Nigerian man and stabbed him multiple times.
Police received a complaint from Bethal Hospital regarding a guy who was admitted with several stab wounds but died as a result of his injuries, according to SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.
“Upon arrival at the hospital, the members opened a murder case. The investigation by the police then revealed that on that fateful night, a group of about five males reportedly had an altercation with the man who then ran towards a local fuel station in Bethal. It is further alleged that the man was pursued by the suspects, thereby stabbing him several times before they left him in a pool of blood.”
He claimed that medical staff were alerted to the incident and transported him to the hospital, but that he was later pronounced dead. June Mwafor was his name, according to his family.
“Police learnt through their probe that after the incident, the suspects proceeded to a certain house where they found three women and allegedly gang-raped them before they fled the scene on foot.”
Three teens, ages 17 and 16, were among the five people arrested on Saturday.
They were charged with murder and three charges of rape in addition to the murder accusation.
Because some of the suspects were juveniles, Brigadier Mohlala said the police were collaborating with other stakeholders such as probation officers and social workers.
“Police cannot rule out the possibility of the five being involved in some kind of gangsterism. However, this will form part of the investigation by the detectives,” he said.
On Monday, they were all scheduled to appear at the Bethal Magistrate’s Court.
Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, the Mpumalanga provincial commissioner, has reassured the public that police will continue to work tirelessly to dismantle any criminal groupings or syndicates that terrorize communities with crime, citing the recent hefty sentence imposed in Marite as an example.
“There is so much space created by the various challenges that the world faces today, which young people can turn into opportunities by bringing forth innovative ideas and solutions rather than engaging themselves in criminal activities.
“We encourage the youth to join the youth crime prevention desk at their respective police stations to constructively participate in inventive ways of preventing and tackling crime in society,” said General Manamela.