The Namibian (Windhoek)

9 January 2013

Namibia: Man Necklaced in South Africa

THE Namibian Police could not confirm whether or not news about a Namibian man, reported to have been killed in a South African informal settlement, after having a tyre filled with paraffin placed around his neck and set alight in the early hours of yesterday was true or not.

The news about the man who has only been identified as "Joseph' thus far was published on the West Cape News (WCN) website yesterday.

"I am aware of the story which I read on the internet but I cannot confirm anything as we have not yet received official confirmation about the incident," said Edwin Kanguatjivi of the Namibian Police.

The incident, as reported by the WCN, is said to have taken place in Philippi, an informal settlement in Cape Town.

The WCN further reports that Joseph was beaten before having a tyre filled with paraffin placed around his neck and set alight by residents of Siyahlala informal settlement after he was caught allegedly trying to burn a resident's shack down in what is believed to have been a revenge attack.

Joseph was reportedly a shebeen owner.

Due to Joseph's body having been left in the street from the time he was burnt at about 2am until police arrived at about 6am, his corpse was partly eaten by dogs, reports the WCN.

The news agency further reports that in October last year, Joseph's two-roomed shebeen in Siyahlala was destroyed by a group of Siyahlala residents following a fight that broke out between locals and Namibians over money stolen from a pool table.

Joseph was also beaten and chased out of the informal settlement.

Residents said a woman spotted him pouring paraffin on the walls of what was a rival shebeen on Monday night.

Following her alert, a meeting was rapidly called and it was decided a group of about 20 residents - mostly men - should fetch him from his new residence at Samora Machel's Siqalo informal settlement a few kilometres away.

A minibus taxi belonging to one of the residents was used to fetch Joseph, returning with him at about 2am.

According to residents WCN interviewed, Joseph "confessed" that he wanted to take revenge for the destruction of his shebeen in October when a group of about 200 residents tore it down, breaking his furniture and stealing his stock of liquor in the process.

Residents apparently said his cries for forgiveness could be heard from blocks away.

As soon as Joseph confessed, said the residents, residents started assaulting him with whatever they could lay their hands on.

A tyre was placed around his neck and set alight, said a resident who wished to remain anonymous for fear of being summoned to court as a witness.

"He got what he deserved," she said.

She said residents were angry because "many shacks would have been burnt if Joseph's plan had gone successfully".

"He cried like a baby when the tyre was set alight, people wanted to make sure he is dead," said another residents, adding that "when he was assaulted the last time and spent almost two weeks in hospital he should have stayed away".

WCN is an independent commercial news agency specialising in providing written and photographic content in the form of daily news, weekend and magazine features. WCN has been in operation since 2006.

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