Suspect dies after vigilantes beat him after death of Sexy Boys gang boss
The man suspected of shooting dead the alleged Sexy Boys gang leader and his 20-year-old son on Tuesday has died in police custody.
It is unclear whether the suspect, also 20, succumbed to injuries he sustained during a shootout at a petrol station in Lentegeur on the Cape Flats that saw two people killed and another two injured, or whether it was as a result of the beating he received at the hands of enraged community members who caught him fleeing the scene prior to his arrest by police.
Lt-Col Andre Traut said on Thursday "an inquest has been opened after a suspect arrested in a shooting in Lentegeur yesterday passed away in the early hours of this morning".
"An autopsy is scheduled to be done on the body. It has to be determined whether the suspect succumbed to injuries sustained in the shooting or in the assault."
Earlier, police said the suspect had been held on murder and attempted murder charges.
"It is alleged that the suspect opened fire on four people sitting in a garage," he said. "Two males, aged 43 and 20, were fatally wounded and a 19-year-old female and an unknown person were wounded.
"The suspect fled on foot and was cornered by security officers," he said. "He was in possession of an unlicensed firearm."
After fleeing the scene of the crime, the suspect was thwarted in his escape by a mob of angry community members who were filmed kicking and beating him until his limp body was dragged into a police van by law enforcement officers.
"The suspect was assaulted by community members after he was apprehended by security members," confirmed Traut. "The circumstances surrounding the incident are under police investigation and the possibility that the incident is gang-related is not ruled out."
Lentegeur Community Policing Forum spokesperson Byron de Villiers said the community was fed up with gangsterism.
"It just shows how the community has had enough. We also can't condone that behaviour - taking the law into their own hands - but it's extremely telling of how frustrated they are," he said.
He said vigilantism could be a double-edged sword.
"For community members it's mob justice because they killed a gangster, but depending how you look at it, you could also be seeing certain parts of the community doing the work of rival gangs."