In South Africa, seven people burned alive by a crowd amid endemic crime

The police “strongly condemn acts of self-defense and taking the law into their own hands, as this constitutes a serious criminal offense

In South Africa, seven people burned alive by a crowd amid endemic crime

The police “strongly condemn acts of self-defense and taking the law into their own hands, as this constitutes a serious criminal offense.” This warning did not prevent seven suspected criminals from being arrested, tied up and burned alive by a mob in one of South Africa's most violent townships, it was reported.

According to police spokesperson Mavela Masondo, the preliminary investigation launched on Friday December 1 “indicates that the victims were attacked and burned by the crowd.” Police reinforcements were sent to the scene. “They were chased, caught and tied up before being killed. Yes, it was a collar,” said a resident, referring to “collar torture”, that is to say the use of a tire (or ropes) placed around the victim’s neck, doused with gasoline before being set on fire.

South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world. But officials in the predominantly black township of Diepsloot, a town of more than 350,000 north of Johannesburg with numerous murders and rapes, say the town has been abandoned by authorities.

The country, which has a population of around 60 million, recorded an average of 68 murders per day in the second quarter of 2023, an increase of almost 20% compared to the same period in 2019.