SOUTH AFRICA – A community’s consultation with a prophet who pointed out two men for being responsible for the death of a young man in a Tzaneen, Limpopo village, led to the residents running amok, killing one person and torching houses and cars.

It just took a R10 contribution from each household for the community to consult the prophet which the family of Tsebo Malatji, 23, had seen a day before in Bismark village.

Now, a 43-year old man has been stoned to death and set alight after the prophet allegedly pointed him out as the person responsible for the killing of Malatji who was found hanging from a tree in the bushes on December 23.

Ngoako Pilusa was fetched from his house at about 11am on Sunday, taken to the nearby bushes, where he was assaulted to death..

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said Pilusa’s house, cars and other belongings were torched by a mob.

Another man who was fingered by the prophet had his house burnt down during the attack.

A community leader who asked not to be named said there was a meeting on Sunday where the villagers decided they would contribute R10 per household and then consult the prophet regarding Malatji’s death.

He said the manner in which Malatji was found raised suspicions as it looked like he was hung on the tree. He said he was still wearing a hat.

The man said Malatji’s body had two colours and it was suspected that he might have been killed for ritual purposes.

“The family of Malatji went to the prophet because they wanted to know about the cause of their son’s death and on Saturday, they came back to inform the community about what they were told. Then the next day, the community took a decision to delegate some of the members to confirm the same and indeed Pilusa was fingered,” he said.

Malatji’s family could not be reached for comment as there was no one at their home.

Another resident who witnessed Pilusa’s brutal murder added that after the meeting, Pilusa was called to defend himself against the allegations.

“He came there and became arrogant when he was asked to plead and that infuriated members of the community. They started assaulting him with stones, set him alight and later torched his house,” he said.

When Sowetan visited the crime scene, stones covered with blood were scattered on the road.

Mojapelo said Pilusa was allegedly at home when the group of about six men arrived and started  assaulting him and damaging his house, furniture and two vehicles.

“The crowd thereafter took him to the nearby bushes and jointly with other community members, stoned, set him alight. He died on the scene and the crowd moved to the house of another man, and when they couldn’t find him, they torched his house,” said Mojapelo.

Mojapelo said no arrests had been made and cases of murder, arson and malicious damage to property was being investigated.


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