Man torched by residents dies

A young man labelled a criminal has died after he and two friends were set alight by angry Pretoria West residents.

Police spokesperson Captain Louise Reed-Steynberg said the three were doused in diesel and set alight around 14:00 on Sunday.

Police officers on patrol were alerted about the attack in Philip Nel Park.

“Police found the victims being burned. Medical help was arranged and the victims were transported to hospital,” said Reed-Steynberg.

“One of the victims later died in the hospital,” said Reed-Steynberg.

A resident said three men broke into a home in Philip Nel Park in the early hours of Friday morning.

“They pointed a gun at the owner and his wife and stole a television set and other appliances. They sped off in a car which the owner recognised later.”

The resident said the housebreaking victim was at a petrol station on Sunday when he saw the getaway car filling up.

“The owner summoned the community who beat the men to a pulp and set them alight,” he said.

The resident said the people of Philip Nel Park had no choice but to take the law into their own hands.

“We have two inactive [ineffectual] police departments who never respond to crime scenes on time,” he said.

“This leaves residents between a rock and a hard place and it is unfortunate that they have to resort to violence to send out a strong message to the criminals. Their intention is never to kill.”

Captain Reed-Steynberg said anyone with information regarding the incident must contact the Pretoria West police on 012-327-4907.

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