News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday June 20th 2019

Two men were murdered on this street in Philippi on Saturday night following a beer being spilled in a shebeen. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso/WCN

A Philippi man who unsuccessfully tried to stop a mob of 20 men from killing his friend following an argument near a shebeen this weekend, died after the mob turned on him, stabbing him a number of times before setting him alight. The death of two men was caused by a drink being spilled in a shebeen, and the family of the man, Gcobani Duda, 37, whose efforts to make peace cost him his life, are furious that by Wednesday this week, police still had not contacted them regarding any investigation into the matter. No statements had been taken from family members and as a result, the family is thinking of finding the murderers themselves and taking the law into their own hands in retribution. Despite questions been sent to the police by West Cape News on Wednesday, no response had been forthcoming by Thursday afternoon. Provincial police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk said he had forwarded questions to the Nyanga and Philippi East police stations but they had not furnished any information. Asked when a response might be forthcoming, he said it would depend when the police stations provided him with information. Investigations by West Cape News revealed that Duda was trying to save his neighbour Ntsikelelo Barnabas, 28, who was being stabbed infront of his house. However, the attackers then turned on Duda, stabbing him before setting him alight. Duda was still burning when some community members came to his rescue, but he could not be saved. Duda’s cousin Owen Duda, 29, said that what had transpired was an insult to the family. Owen said he was asleep when he heard a woman shouting on the street and when he went to investigate he saw a body burning. Investigating further, he found out that the burning victim was his cousin. “It is sad that he had to die in this manner.  We don’t know what to do – whether to continue this with the police or take the law into our own hands – because even if the police arrest the perpetrators, a week later they would be released and roam the streets,” said Owen. “It is terrible, They first stabbed him before setting him on fire.” “All we want is for the perpetrators to be caught and face the justice of the law, said Owen, who was flanked by a number of supportive relatives. It was established that Barnabas was earlier involved in an argument with a group of about 20 men in a shebeen over a game of pool. Barnabas had apparently knocked over one of the men’s beers. There was a scuffle and punches were exchanged until the fight escalated to the point where Barnabas was assaulted with a golf-stick. When he realized that the group of men was overpowering him,  Barnabas ran from the shebeen but the group caught up with him just before he got to his house, said an eyewitness who did not want to be named. Another eyewitness, who refused to give his name, said that that is when Duda came out of his house and tried to intervene by throwing stones at the men in an attempt to stop them from stabbing Barnabas. The eyewitness said the men chased Duda for a short while and when they caught up with him they stabbed him and set him alight. The owner of the shebeen where the incident happened, who did not want to be named for fear of intimidation, said he was outside when Barnabas argued with the men and “it seemed at the time that the argument was resolved”. He said when he closed, “there was no sign that there were people who were fighting.” – Sandiso Phaliso

Tags: Duda, Frederick Van Wyk, Gcobani Duda, Ntsikelelo Barnabas, Nyanga and Philippi East police stations, Owen Duda, philippi

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