News / South Africa

Sanele Gumada
2 minute read
19 Apr 2018
6:42 am

Two cops face charges of setting homeless boy alight

Sanele Gumada

One of the cops lost his wallet and allegedly blamed four homeless boys, who were bundled into a taxi, assaulted and one of them set alight.

Two members of Kroonstad Crime Intelligence are facing charges of kidnapping and attempted murder after one of four homeless boys was allegedly set alight.

The two constables were among five suspects who were arrested on Sunday evening. Their co-accused are two petrol attendants and a taxi driver.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said their victims were a 16-year-old boy and three other young males.

“It was alleged that one of the officers lost his wallet after withdrawing money from an ATM at a supermarket in Kroonstad, then blamed it on four homeless boys loitering in the vicinity,” said Mbambo.

Forcing the boys to confess, Mbambo said the constables allegedly loaded them into a minibus taxi that had three other men inside.

“They then assaulted them, while driving to a filling station to purchase petrol. The males were then taken out of the minibus and one of them was set alight by the officers and their three accomplices,” she said.

Despite being covered in flames, one of the boys managed to escape the ordeal, and ran to the nearest police station.

“He managed to give a description of the vehicle to members of Kroonstad Saps, and it was later traced to a tavern in Gelukwaarts Township, where all the suspects were arrested. The petrol container found in the vehicle was confiscated and booked into the evidence store,” said Mbambo.

A case was registered and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate is handling the investigations.

The men face charges of attempted murder, one count of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and four counts of kidnapping.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Pheladi Shuping said the case was postponed for formal bail applications.

“We are unable to release the names of the accused because there will be an identity parade tomorrow. The names will be released on Friday,” he said, adding that the victim who was set alight was recovering in hospital.

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