Police called in after killer vigilante mob turns on rescue crews
Derrick Spies, News24
Port Elizabeth - Police were called in to protect fire and ambulance crews responding to the scene of a mob killing in Bethelsdorp, after people turned on the rescuers on Tuesday evening.
Three young men, aged between 17 and 22, were beaten to death and the house in which they were staying was torched.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said the three had been identified as Lonwabo Mandraluwe and Duane Schultz, both 17, and Francois Pierce, 22.
Labans said the three had been accused of a number of crimes in the area.
He said an angry crowd of almost 300 people had surrounded Mandraluwe's home and had set the building alight some time after 18:00 on Tuesday. Mandraluwe's mother managed to flee the scene unharmed.
Labans said police were called to the scene in Kumalo Street, Kwanoxolo, at around 19:00, after being asked to assist ambulance and fire crews who were being attacked by locals while trying to extinguish the fire.
He said when police arrived, they found two of the bodies in the yard of the house and the third body in a nearby field.
Labans said the SAPS condemned the incident, and that none of the three victims could be positively linked to any crime. He appealed to the community not to take the law into their own hands, but to follow the correct channels and inform the police.
A case of murder and arson has been opened. No arrests have been made.