Police call for calm after torching of three properties in Nkomazi

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Mpumalanga police are calling for calm in Phiva in Nkomazi Municipality. This follows the recent killing of a 28-year-old man in an alleged vigilante attack in the area. The deceased was severely assaulted after he was accused of stealing.

Following this incident, a group of angry community members allegedly torched several properties in what is believed to be a revenge attack for the killing.

Tensions are high within the community of Phiva. At least three properties have been torched while two others were damaged, allegedly by a group of disgruntled community members. These include an office and a car belonging to members of the Community Policing Forum.

“We believe that is an act of revenge as we suspect some community members gathered and went and torched that house where he allegedly went. And from there were lot of activities here where some other houses were torched as well as a vehicle,” says Colonel Donald Mdhluli, Mpumalanga Police spokesperson.

The police want community members to play a role in preventing these incidents and crime in general.

“We had incidents where you will find that police arrest somebody and they will take that person to court. However, where community members were supposed to give statements to make sure that the evidence become strong in court, you find that people are reluctant to come forth, of which it sometimes makes such cases to be thrown out of court,” Mdhluli added.

Meanwhile, the traditional authority in the area held engagements with all the affected parties.

“We are trying as a community with the people concerned to fight this thing. We came to an agreement whereby we said this should come to a halt. It should stop,” says Mandla Ngwenya, Induna: Shongwe Traditional Authority.

The traditional authority is expected to hold further engagements with affected parties on Sunday to try to resolve the tensions. And law enforcement personnel will also be keeping an eye on the situation.