Durban – Two innocent men were killed by a mob who suspected that they had kidnapped an 11-year-old boy in the Pinetown CBD, west of Durban, police said on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the incident had taken place at about 17:00 on Tuesday in Stanfield Lane when the boy’s father left him with his friend.
“The father went to buy his son something to eat, leaving the child with the friend. When he returned after a few minutes, he noticed that his vehicle was overturned,” said Mbhele.
The father then saw a mob assaulting his friend.
“It is believed that members of the community suspected that his friend had kidnapped the child. His friend sustained serious injuries and was declared dead at the scene. Another unknown man also died whilst trying to assist,” she said.
She said circumstances surrounding the killings were being investigated by Pinetown police.
Mbhele said police are requesting assistance in tracing the relatives of the unknown man.
“He is an African male who is about 40 years old. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a grey T-shirt,” she said.
KwaZulu-Natal acting provincial commissioner Major General Bheki Langa condemned the incident as an act of criminality.
“We urge members of the community to work together with police by alerting themto possible criminal activities in their area and not to take [the] law into their own hands.
“If a crime is suspected, the police should be called immediately. It is very disappointing to have two innocent people killed over mere suspicions,” he said.
Anyone who has information regarding the unknown man’s identity can contact Pinetown police or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.