Police Begin search searching for suspected vigilantes following the murder of three men accused of hijacking taxis in Vosman, near Witbank.
According to police, four men were allegedly abducted from their homes on Thursday and taken to an undisclosed location where they were beaten and forced to drink acid.
They were also accused by their kidnappers of hijacking taxis in the area.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said police were informed that the men were being held against their will in Extension 2, Hlalanikahle, which is near Vosman.
“While the police were actively in the process of verifying the information, news broke that the same men have been sneaked out of the place where police were and whisked to another taxi rank at Extension 11,” Hlathi said in a statement.
“The relentless police swiftly dashed to the place, however, when they arrived they were told that there were dead bodies stashed in the offices of the taxi operators.
“Those narratives drew the attention of the police to investigate further at which point the allegations were confirmed.”
Hlathi said three men were found dead, while the fourth was still alive.
He added that the survivor said their captors had physically beat them and forced them to drink acid.
“Those allegations will be confirmed by the post-mortem which will be conducted,” said Hlathi.
“Police have opened three counts of murder, attempted murder, as well as kidnapping and, are looking for the perpetrators.
“The act prompted police to initiate an intensive investigation regarding this heartless act, which currently the community is mobilized to be patriotic to the call of acting against lawless individuals.”
The Provincial Commissioner of the Police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma cautioned the community not to take the law into their own hands, no matter how strongly they feel about a particular matter.
“Just the other day two men were killed vigilantism-style in Msogwaba, Pienaar near Nelspruit, today here we are facing another senseless loss of life, our people need to learn to be patient and to trust the criminal justice system of the land”, said Zuma.