An angry mob lynched six alleged criminals early on Wednesday morning in the southern Mozambican city of Matola.
According to the spokesperson for the Maputo Provincial Police Command, Fernando Manhica, cited in Thursday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, eight people believed to be thieves were caught by the crowd in the Matola neighbourhood of Ngolhoza as they were burgling a house. The gang was armed with two pistols.
The thieves tried to escape, but the crowd chased them. One of the gang was caught and lynched in Ngolhza. The pursuit of the others continued into the adjoining neighbourhood of Nwamatibjana, where five others were killed. Two members of the gang escaped.
Manhica said the mob used sticks, iron bars, machetes and stones to beat the alleged criminals to death. The crowd identified their victims as members of a gang which, two weeks ago, raided in house in Matola-Gare neighbourhood, where they shot a 27 year old women, who died of her wounds en route to hospital.
Manhica condemned the crowd for taking the law into their own hands, and urged the public to hand over any criminals they may catch to the police so that can be held responsible for their actions in a court of law.
The police do not doubt that the six people killed were indeed thieves, and Manhica said police are now hunting down the two surviving members of the group.