Horror vigilante necklace murders

Karen van Rooyen vanrooyenka@avusa.co.za

BLOODY hand and footprints, blood- covered stones and ash bore silent testimony last night to a gruesome crime which started with a house robbery and murder in New Brighton on Sunday night and ended in residents taking the law into their own hands and killing the two suspects in front of the victims yesterday.

The suspects were hunted down and necklaced by crime- weary residents in what is believed to be the second incident of its kind in a week.

The two suspects were stoned, doused with paraffin and set alight with tyres around their necks.

They were tracked down hours after the home invasion. One of them was allegedly wearing the clothes of the man killed in the Pendla Street house robbery the night before. Murder victim David Maholwana’s mother, Angeline, said: “I’m so pleased at what has happened to these criminals because my son has died.”

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Dumile Gwavu confirmed that two youths had been killed in an incident of mob justice.

Maholwana said last night that just before 11pm on Sunday “those tsotsis kicked the back door and came inside”.

 She was bound with tape, forced to lie on her stomach and then covered with blankets.

Her three-year-old granddaughter Sibahle’s mouth was also taped closed.

“They tried to squeeze my neck,” Maholwana said.

 She heard the men rummaging around the house, telling her son, David, 31 – the breadwinner of the family – to open cupboards for them.

“They took my TV and DVD player, wedding ring and cellphones,” she said.

“My granddaughter was crying. Every time I moved, they would hit me on the head.

“At around 3.30am, I saw that my house was quiet and I tried to untie myself.

“I went to my son’s room and he was dead on the floor …  they killed my son, they stabbed him,” she said.

“They took an electric wire and tied it around his neck until he died.”

Maholwana’s daughter-in- law, Thabisa, said residents had gathered early yesterday to look for the two suspects. They found the television set not far from the house and rounded up the two suspects at about 2.30pm.

“I found that guy wearing the clothes of David. They didn’t even say anything [to deny their involvement].

“They couldn’t because one of them was wearing David’s clothes,” Thabisa said.

“They [residents] beat them up in the house first, and then took them outside and put the tyres on them and burnt them with paraffin.”

Bloody hand-prints and shoe marks were still visible on the floor and the passage and lounge walls of the Maholwana home last night. A pile of blood-covered stones, thrown by the mob, lay scattered outside the front door.

A family friend, Sandile Ngwana, said those who meted out mob justice usually took the suspects back to the scene of the crime to describe how they had gained entry to the house and where they had taken the stolen goods.

Maholwana said she felt better knowing her son’s alleged killers had been dealt with.

Asked whether they should not rather have left justice to the police, she said: “Nobody cares about that.”

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