The Cape Town police confirmed that the man burnt to death in Parkwood by community members on Tuesday, 31 May, was innocent contrary to social media reports that claimed men in a vehicle fitting the description the deceased was in was responsible for child kidnappings in the area.
PARKWOOD MOB JUSTICE VICTIM WAS INNOCENT
South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi told The South African that the mob justice bore “no relevance to an incident of kidnapping or attempted kidnapping.”
He said Parkwood community members were riled up and in an emotional state over fake news being shared on social media “and partook in this senseless criminal attack and we condone the actions of the community members.”
The police spokesperson said a 31-year-old man was declared dead at the scene by medical personnel. The suspects fled the scene and are yet to be arrested.
Grassy Park police station is investigating a case of murder.
“We caution community members not to follow their emotions and commit serious and violent crimes, as they will face the mighty arm of the law,” said Swartbooi.
BURNT TO DEATH
On Tuesday, Swartbooi said Grassy Park police officers responded to a complaint at the corner of Hyde Road and the M5 Highway in Parkwood at approximately 11:00.
“Upon arrival at the scene they found a Toyota Avanza in flames and the body of an unknown man who succumbed to death as a result of injuries sustained due to the fire,” he said.
Swartbooi said three unknown men were driving around Parkwood in a Toyota Avanza when members of the community stopped the vehicle and set it alight.
Prior to this unverified social media allegations, which have now proven to be false, claimed that men in a Toyota Avanza attempted to kidnap children in the area.
Graphic photographs and videos of the mob justice attack circulated on online platforms in the wake of the gruesome attacks.