Mpumalanga police have launched a manhunt for a group of suspected vigilantes after the death of three men in Vosman near Witbank on Friday afternoon who were allegedly forced to drink acid after being accused of hijacking taxis.
A fourth victim apparently survived the attack and is in hospital.
“Information at police disposal revealed that four men were reportedly abducted from their respective places on Thursday and taken to some secret location where they were kept as well as assaulted, accused of hijacking taxis in and around Vosman,” police said.
After receiving information about a commotion in Hlalanikahle in the Vosman area on Friday afternoon, police had rushed to the scene where they were informed hat there were men being kept against their will somewhere in the vicinity.
“While the police were actively in the process of verifying the information, news broke that the same men have been sneaked out of the place where police were and whisked to another taxi rank at Extension 11.
“The relentless police swiftly dashed to the place, however, when they arrived they were told that there were dead bodies stashed in the offices of the taxi operators. Those narratives drew the attention of the police to investigate further at which point the allegations were confirmed,” police said.
“Initially it was reported that four men were abducted, now three were found dead, one still alive and was immediately hospitalised, but not before telling the police that their assailants were physically beating them up as well as forcing them to drink acid. Those allegations will be confirmed by the post-mortem which will be conducted,” police added.
Police have opened three counts of murder, attempted murder as well as kidnapping and are looking for the perpetrators.