Two men have been arrested for the murder of an elderly woman in Mapetla, Soweto who was assaulted in an apparent incident of mob justice on March 26, South African police in Gauteng province said on Monday.
Justina Sangweni, aged 59, succumbed to her injuries last week and police revised the case from attempted murder to murder, Gauteng police spokeswoman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said in a statement.
“Following the concerted efforts of the (police) to not only apprehend the perpetrators behind the murder … but to also ensure that cases against the suspects are watertight towards a successful prosecution, police on Friday … arrested two suspects in Mapetla,” said Peters.
“The two suspects aged 27 and 28 are expected to make their first appearance today in the Protea magistrate court.”
Police said the slain woman was allegedly accused of witchcraft when in fact preliminary evidence showed she was mentally unwell.
Peters said police were on March 26 alerted to an incident of alleged mob justice in Mapetla. At the same time, a family came to the police station to report their mother as missing.
This resulted in police and the family members making their way to Mabalane Street in Mapetla when the family members confirmed that the injured mob justice victim was their mother. She was burned alive & later died in hospital after being accused of witchcraft. She had a psychiatric condition: Schizophrenia- it affects a person’s ability to think & behave. Its cause isn’t known, but altered brain chemistry plays a role.
On Monday, Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela welcomed the arrests and urged the investigating team to leave no stone unturned until the remaining suspects were also apprehended and brought to book.