By Everson Luhanga
The horror of xenophobic violence and killings returned to Johannesburg on Saturday morning when seven foreigners were burned alive in Diepsloot township outside Johannesburg.
This followed a massive manhunt by the community members on Friday night and Saturday morning.
The deceased, all men, were suspected to have committed various crimes in Diepsloot’s extension 12 and 13.
With sjamboks and stones in their hands, community members hunted them down.
On Friday night, two of the men were apprehended by the community.
They sjambokked them and started beating them with sticks and even stones.
Then they layer douses them in petrol before setting them alight.
According to Councilor Abraham Mabhuke, the men were suspected of committing violent crimes in the township.
Councilor Mabhuke claimed all men are Zimbabwe nationals.
“Two Zimbabweans who are alleged to be behind crimes that are taking place in Diepsloot Ext 12 & 13 were caught by community members.”
He said the gatvol community members were up in arms on Saturday morning, hunting down those that escaped on Friday night.
“In a dramatic turn of events, five more people alleged to be Zimbabweans were stoned to death this morning by angry community members.”
He said on Friday, four people were shot by the alleged criminals. One died, and three others were in hospital being treated for gunshot wounds.
The Saturday killing of the alleged suspects brought to seven the number of people who were burnt alive.
Residents say every evening there are gunshots echoing the congested Johannesburg township.
Lizzy Maluleke from ext 12 told Scrolla.Africa that it is unsafe to stay in the township. “We keep ourselves in doors as early as 7pm. It’s sad,” she said.
From the beginning of this year, Diepsloot residents have been marching against crime.
Three of its leaders were arrested for inciting public violence.
In June, they demanded to meet President Ramaphosa. They even traveled to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in a bid to meet the state president.
Residents say they will keep on hunting criminals themselves, claiming that police have failed them.