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Villager killed in suspected revenge attack after fatal shop robbery

Tensions in an Eastern Cape village are running high following allegations that a man was kidnapped and killed after he was accused of killing a shop assistant during an armed robbery.
Tensions in an Eastern Cape village are running high following allegations that a man was kidnapped and killed after he was accused of killing a shop assistant during an armed robbery.
Image: FREDDY MAVUNDA/ BUSINESS DAY

Tensions in an Eastern Cape village are running high following allegations that a man was kidnapped and killed after he was accused of killing a shop assistant during an armed robbery.

The shop assistant, a 24-year-old foreign national, was shot and killed during a robbery in Matholanyile village in the Qhumanco administrative area near Cofimvaba.

The shop was robbed again the following day.

Following the robberies, allegedly by four armed men, Akhona Binzana, 32, accused of being one of the robbers, was allegedly assaulted and later found dead.

Residents said he had been kidnapped by a group of armed foreign nationals who had raided the village in search of the robbers who had killed their compatriot.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli confirmed the killing on Saturday.

“Police condemn acts of revenge attacks or mob justice after a man was found allegedly assaulted and killed by a group of people.

“It is alleged that at about 7am, the man was forcefully taken away from his family by a group of people and was later found dead.

“A case of murder is under investigation and the arrest of the suspects is imminent,” Nkohli said.

Qhumanco traditional council head Nkosi Dumisani Zwelenqaba Mgudla said the villagers were living in fear.

“This is a revenge attack. On Youth Day, a man who was assisting in a village store owned by his cousin was shot and killed.

“They said that there were four gunmen. On the following night the store was again robbed by gun-wielding men.

“I personally know the store owner as he has been trading in the area for many years and we regard him as a member of the community.,” Mgudlwa said.

He said that on the following day he was woken up by news that a local youth had been kidnapped and killed.

“The parents of the deceased youth reported the matter to me on Saturday morning.

“They allegedly assaulted him in front of his girlfriend and parents and forcefully removed or kidnapped him.

“The kidnappers were allegedly armed with guns and bush knives and hours later he was found dead, with bullet and knife wounds.

“Two other youths were also allegedly assaulted during the raid and are now fighting for their lives in an East London hospital.

“My fear is that other people will wrongly believe that this is a xenophobic attack.

“It is absolutely not. It is criminality and revenge,” Mgudlwa said.

“I have pleaded with the community to be calm and restrain from violence, but show discipline.

“I know the people of Matholanyile as a very disciplined community,” he said.

“We hope peace will prevail in Matholanyile,” Mgudlwa said.

Community meetings were held at the village on Sunday and it was resolved that the foreign nationals would close the shop and vacate the village until calm had been restored.

DispatchLIVE


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