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POLICE in Limpopo rescued Chief Mzamani Eric Ndlovu (65) of Bevhula village in Saselamani outside Giyani from his burning house after it was torched by angry members of the community on Thursday night, 22 February 2018.
The community members demanded that he drop a case against three members of the community who were arrested early on that day for contravening a court order.
The police said the three arrested members of the community were apparently the leaders of residents who opposed the chief’s decision to allow the Kruger National Park to have a buffer zone in the area.
It is said that the chief then obtained a court order against the three men preventing them from interfering with the buffer zone progress and also not to hold any gathering in the area.
The three men allegedly defied the court order and the chief opened a case and were arrested. The police said that upon hearing of the arrest, the residents demanded their immediate release and charged to the chief’s kraal.
In a statement, police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said: “The unruly mob threw petrol bombs at the house of the chief and set it alight with the chief still inside. The police rescued the chief, but the crowd managed to assault him as he was being taken away.”
Two police officers were injured, and two police vehicles were damaged during the incident. The injured officers are still recuperating in hospital.
“The Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has since condemned these acts of mob justice and vigilantism,” said Mojapelo.