The family of a Zwelethemba man found dead is deeply distraught after his body was found without eyes near the N1 days after he was reported missing.
Police spokesperson Capt Lindikhaya Mkhontwana said an inquest docket had been opened after 29-year-old Thulani Matyobe’s decomposed body was found.
His eyes had been removed in what is believed to be an incident of mob justice.
Matyobe was taken by a group of people on 29 October from his home in Mandela Square, Zwelethemba, after allegedly breaking in at the Xolani Pre-school to steal groceries. He had been missing since then.
“He was naked when they took him,” Themba Bhetani, a close relative, said.
“When they took him and two of his friends, we thought they were being taken to the police station, considering they had committed a crime,” he said.
Bhetani said that when the group of people took the three men away, they were told to get their life insurance in order because Matyobe would not return home. His family opened a case of kidnapping on 3 November.
Bhetani said the family recognised the people who took Matyobe away, and approached them afterwards to ask after his whereabouts, and they were told that Matyobe had “run away”.
But on 4 November his body was found, and he was recognised by pedestrians along the N1.
“The police visited the scene after they were alerted, and started investigating the body,” said Mkhontwana. “It was still showing some injuries on the upper back.
“What hurts the most is the fact they took him away naked to kill him, and they even took his eyes,” Bhetani said. “He did not deserve to die the way he did.”
Mkhontwana added that the incident could not be linked to any reported crime in the community.
Matyobe was laid to rest in the Eastern Cape this past weekend.
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