He was caught trying to steal a handbag and residents of crime-ridden Hillbrow handed out harsh street justice. His punishment was a brutal beating and pain beyond description.
Death by fire has finally come to the CBD of Joburg. In a shocking video posted on Facebook a crowd of people can be seen surrounding him, watching and standing motionless as the burning man stumbles around as if trying to escape the flames.
A man throws a cardboard box on top of the burning man. More missiles are thrown at the man. Shouts of “Ifa, ifa, die, die!” are heard. The horrific drama started when two men tried to steal a handbag in Hillbrow, an area known for crime, where the police appear to have little or no authority.
When the men tried to rob the woman in the crowded street, people took action. They chased and caught the two thieves on the corner of Esselen and Edith Cavell streets, a few blocks away from Hillbrow Police Station.
One of the men was severely beaten and left with serious injuries . . . he was the lucky one. The other man was also beaten but then set alight.
The police and an ambulance arrived, having been alerted by passersby. The flames were put out by medics and both were taken to hospital. While the one man is still alive and fighting for his life, the man who was set alight has died.
Gauteng police spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele said cases of murder and attempted murder were opened. He said no arrests have been made. Makhubele urged residents not to take the law into their owns hands but rather take suspects to the police. However, a Hillbrow resident told Daily Sun that they were tired of crime in their area.
“People die like flies in this area because of crime,” he said. He said criminals do crime in broad daylight, knowing that no one will touch them. “We will put a stop to that,” he said.
The video was shared on Facebook and it left many people shocked and divided in their views. While some people praised the act on social media, others felt it was too harsh a punishment for the suspects.
Nhlanhla Dhlamini said: “These criminals kill people daily in broad daylight in Joburg. It’s payback time.”
Hannes van Schalkwyk said: “You should be ashamed for condoning this type of behaviour and mindset. We are humans, not a bunch of animals.”
Leon Sandi wrote a damning comment on life and law enforcement: “You people don’t know what’s happening in Hillbrow. Ask us Hillbrow citizens. If you have ever been robbed you will cry for mercy. Who’s going to look after us? The Hillbrow police station is corrupt as hell.”