News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday July 16th 2019

Suspected thief burnt to death with plastic – fourth killing by fire in a month

Police inspect the burnt body of Lindile Maci in Khayelitsha yesterday. Maci was the fourth person to be burnt to death in vigilante action in Cape Town townships over the past three weeks. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN


After he was caught by residents for allegedly trying to mug two women on their way to work this morning, a 26 year old Khayelitsha man wasa burnt to death in a vigilante killing.

At about 5am yesterday Lindile Maci, from Makhaza 36 Section, was beaten with sticks and stoned before residents covered his body with plastic and set him alight.

The brutal vigilante killing, the fourth such reported killing in Khayelitsha over the last month occurred after Maci’s alleged victims woke residents up with their screams.

Eye-witness Patric Busukwana said he was woken up by the women’s screams.

“One woman was following him (Maci) accusing him of taking her bag, while another woman was crying for help. People came in numbers and caught the man. They got him and the beating started,” said Busukwana.

He said taxi drivers and people who were on their way to work “just stopped to beat him”.

Busukwana said Maci tried to escape and run closer to his house but residents were pouring out into the street and he was cornered.

“He ran next to a vlei but it was an open field he could not escape. They got him again I think that’s when someone decided to burn him, covering his body with plastic and setting it alight. It was quick. People left him there to die.”

On February 26, 17-year-old Eddie Raqa was necklaced by residents in Gugulethu’s Kanana informal settlement after he was caught allegedly robbing a woman there.

On the same day suspected thief, 26-year-old Nceba Gqumza was necklaced by residents in Kosovo, Philippi after he was accused of shoplifting in a shebeen.

The death of the two happened hours after paramedics saved a badly beaten Phillipi man from imminent death by necklacing.

Two weeks ago Harare, Khayelitsha, police discovered a dead body of a man who was also necklaced near Chris Hani train Station.

Maci’s aunt said her nephew was a well known criminal. She said he was beaten several times by residents but he never changed.

According to Maci’s aunt, who refused to give her name, Maci had recently been released from jail after serving time for robbery.

Residents at the scene of the vigilante killing seemed relieved Maci was dead.

One residents said, “We will now walk free to the bus station now that Cici is dead”

Provincial spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said the police were investigating the circumstances surrounding Maci’s death.

“He was beaten to death and set alight during the early hours of this morning. No one has been arrested as yet. It is believed that the victim was accused of perpetrating a robbery in the area. However, this is part of our investigations,” said Traut. –Nombulelo Damba

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