Zimbabwe man Elvis Nyathi stoned, burnt to death in Diepsloot: Widow reveals what happened (VIDEO)

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The family of the foreigner who was killed after being stoned and set on fire in a mob attack in Diepsloot, north west of Johannesburg, last night has identified him as Elvis Nyati from Zimbabwe. Nyathi was one of the over three million Zimbabweans who left their country and came to look for jobs in South Africa.

Police say officers have been getting statements from witnesses of the attack.

Police spokesperson Brenda Muridili says, “Reports that we’re getting from witnesses is that there’s a small group of people that went from door to door and then when they got to this house, this young man just ran out of the house and they chased him and unfortunately he was killed. As soon as the police got that information, they rushed to the scene but when they got there, the people had already been dispersed.”

The police mouthpiece said locals conducted a door-to-door search for foreigners and their passports whom they accused of committing crimes in the area before stoning and burning to death the now deceased.

Police say 24 undocumented foreign nationals have been arrested in a separate incident in the area.

Residents of Diepsloot have embarked on a protest over escalating crime.

SABC TV identified the deceased foreigner as Elvis Nyathi from Zimbabwe, quoting his distraught widow Nomsa Tshuma, who said people came banging on their door asking for their passports.

Speaking to eNCA, the widow said when they saw “many people” enter their yard, “we tried to run away and hide.”

“They said ‘why are we hiding, it means we have a gun’. That’s why they took him. I told them there was no gun and told them to search.”

On Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele visited Diepsloot and promised residents that there was going to be strong police visibility in the area.

Police Minister Cele addresses the Diepsloot community:

However, that did not deter residents from taking the law into their own hands.

The situation Diepsloot remains tense.

On Wednesday, hundreds of community members took to the streets to protest against crime and negligent policing of immigration laws.

The community threatened to shut down the township after widespread crime in the past few months and a murder at the weekend when a man in his 20s was shot dead during a robbery. Responding to the community, Cele said more than 50 police members, including 30 tactical response team members, and 16 police vehicles would be deployed to ensure that crime-fighting in the area is strengthened.

“The report that we got this morning was that one person was killed last night. There was a mob attack,” Moalosi said.

“Community members were doing door-to-door [checks] because of the frustration that happened over the weekend. Then when they got to a yard, a guy jumped out of his shack and ran. The community got to him and burnt him,” he said.

He said there was now more police visibility in the area.

“Now the situation is under control, everything is going back to normal, people are going to work, children are going to school. However, we are deeply concerned about this incident [the murder] because it looks like community members — a few of them grouped themselves and went to do door-to-door. We are told police responded swiftly but the person was already dead when they arrived on the scene.”

Moalosi said 24 people believed to be without proper documentation were arrested by police overnight.

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