Mpumalanga Residents Take Justice into Their Own Hands: Man Burned to Death for Mutilating 5-Year-Old Girl
In a shocking incident that highlights the depths of community outrage, residents in Mathafeni, Mbombela, Mpumalanga, reportedly burned a 63-year-old man, Samuel Mangebeletane Tsela, to death over allegations of mutilating and harvesting organs from a 5-year-old girl, Bontle Mashiyane.
Bontle went missing in April 2022, prompting her parents to file a report with authorities. Tragically, her mutilated body was discovered a month later in Mganduzweni. Tsela was accused of orchestrating this heinous crime.
Despite the KaBokweni Magistrate’s Court provisionally withdrawing charges against Tsela on July 28, citing insufficient evidence, community members decided to take justice into their own hands. They stormed Tsela’s hiding place, bound him, doused him with fuel, and set him on fire.
Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, spokesperson for the provincial police, confirmed the incident, stating, “He was identified by his family as Tsela, who was also known as a traditional healer during the inhumane murder of Bontle Mashiyane, who was a neighbour, in Masoyi.”
Following Tsela’s death, his family filed a murder case at the Nelspruit Police Station. The burning incident has sparked debates on social media, with users expressing mixed emotions.
“I hope other communities are paying attention. This is what it means to be a community. We must root out the evil amongst us. Children, in particular, should be where we all draw the line,” commented one user, reflecting on the drastic measures taken by the Mathafeni community.
The incident sheds light on the complexities surrounding mob justice and the palpable frustration within communities when they perceive a lack of justice through official channels.
As authorities investigate both Tsela’s alleged involvement in the crime and the vigilante act that led to his death, the community remains divided over the extreme measures taken to address the heinous crime against the 5-year-old victim.