Father arrested for allegedly fueling mob justice that saw innocent man killed
The father of the little girl who claimed to have been raped, which resulted in a man being viciously beaten to death, has been arrested.
The 36-year-old father, who works as a security guard at a beachfront hotel, was arrested at 8pm on Tuesday after handing himself over to police earlier in the day.
This comes after Mava Fundakubi, 52, was attacked and killed on Saturday night during a mob justice attack in Motherwell.
Police have declined to release his name until he appears in court on Thursday.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said the father handed himself over at about 1am on Tuesday but was only officially arrested that night after detectives questioned him.
“After he handed himself over at Humewood Police Station, he was taken to Motherwell police station where he was questioned and confessed to the killing. In terms of law, the detective arranged the role-players to take a confession under oath which was done late Tuesday evening,” he said.
“The father of the 7-year-old girl handed himself over to police claiming that he fetched Fundakubi at his house and that he assaulted Fundakubi in the street while being joined by other people.”
Detectives are still following up leads to identify the other people involved.
Fundakubi was brutally murdered near his house in De Vos Crescent in the Shukushukuma area of Motherwell shortly after the family of the little girl said she had been raped by a man who looked like Fundakubi.
The child was taken to hospital for a rape kit to be done and it was determined that she had not been raped.
Fundakubi’s sister, Nokwakha, 59, found him a short while later lying in a pool of blood, with a tyre around his neck, about two blocks from his house.
Beetge said the reasons as to how the girl claimed to have been raped are still being looked into.
“We do not yet know why they thought she had been raped or what triggered this. What we have established is that there was a rumour about the girl being raped which seemed to have been a catalyst in triggering this murder,” he said.
Since the attack, the girl’s family fled their home when enraged residents turned their anger on them later, baying for their blood.
On Tuesday, Motherwell residents said vigilante attacks were being carried out because crime was spiralling out of control and they were afraid.
Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major-General Dawie Rabie, repeated his warning saying that vigilante justice would not be tolerated.
"An innocent man was killed by angry residents based on a rumour. They did not even wait to verify the validity of these claims. We are urging our communities to give information of suspected crimes to the police and not to take the law into their own hands," he said.
"The persons involved were killers and the police and the law will treat them as killers. I am urging our community to identify these killers in order for the law to be enforced and these murderers to be brought before court." The man will be appearing in the Motherwell Magistrate's Court on Thursday where he will be charged with Fundakubi’s murder.