Angry crowd strips, beats man at ATM
Public frustration with ATM fraudsters boiled over in Butterworth CBD when a man people believed to be a scammer was stripped naked and beaten.
According to Butterworth police spokesperson Captain Jackson Manatha, the man – whose identity has not been revealed – was grabbed by the crowd near an ATM in Mthatha Street on Tuesday afternoon.
Footage shows a naked man surrounded by a crowd shouting at him in Xhosa, and beating him with a stick.
Manatha said: “People suspected him of being a card scammer. It is alleged he was trying to commit fraud by changing people’s cards at the ATM.
“When the people saw him they caught the suspect and stripped him naked before beating him up.”
He said the man was taken to hospital.
“No one has opened a case so he will walk home after he is discharged from the hospital.
“He has also not opened a case against the people who assaulted him.”
Manatha urged members of the public not to take the law into their own hands.
“Although we do not condone card scamming, we are asking our members of the public to contact the nearest police station when they come across these incidents.”
An eye witness, who did not want to be named, said: “I saw a commotion outside and when I looked out a large crowd had grabbed the guy, questioning him. He was surrounded by a lot of men who beat him with a stick.”
He said the man was stripped naked before being assaulted for about 10 minutes.
“He was crying as the men punished him in front of everyone who was watching.”
Numerous attempts to track the man, whose name was given to the Dispatch, were unsuccessful on Thursday.
His Facebook profile shows him to be a 27-year-old man from Mthatha. Social media users aired their views on the incident.
One user wrote: “Although I do not condone mob justice, I do not feel sympathy for this man and I understand the frustrations of the public. Crime is increasing and the authorities seem helpless in stopping it.”
Earlier in January, a gang of four tried to defraud an elderly Gonubie man at the ATM at the Gonubie SuperSpar.
After a scuffle with security guards, the four fled the scene, crashing their rented car into a wall before escaping.
They have not been found...