Men held for mob justice remanded in police custody

Sibongakonke Gagane, Khanyisa Mdedelwa, Siphumeze Mancipha and Lungisani Fantein were remanded in custody for the murder of a police officer.

The suspects, aged between 27 and 35, appeared before the Tsolo magistrate’s court on Tuesday following their arrests by the Mthatha-based serious organised crime investigation team of the Hawks.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Ndiphiwe Mhlakuvana said the suspects allegedly stoned a 51-year-old warrant officer until he died at the weekend.

“It is alleged that the incident occurred at Philakuzenzela tavern in Ntshiqo location in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape after a heated argument between the officer and one of the patrons,” said Mhlakuvana.

“The argument is said to have culminated as the policeman shot and injured a patron he had an argument with. Then the community members allegedly chased the policeman after he fled from the tavern.

“They caught and disarmed the officer not far from the tavern and they allegedly stoned and killed the policeman on the scene.”

He added that the officer’s service firearm was found and seized on the scene, as well as a big stone believed to have been used to commit the murder. 

In June, Police Minister General Bheki Cele called for the harshest sentences for the murderers of police officers.

“The war has been declared on us. I think murdering a police should be an extra murder, it cannot be just an ordinary murder,” Cele said at the time.

“I will continue to make this call, police members and law enforcement should not succumb and surrender to criminality.”


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