Johannesburg – A fight over a girlfriend turned deadly when a man was kidnapped and set alight by his love rival.
Allegations are that the killer stayed and watched his victim burn.
When he realised that the victim was still breathing after the fire died down, he finished him of by strangling him and throwing his body in a river.
The family’s man reported him missing when he failed to return home. Unknown to them, his charred remains where flowing in a nearby river.
The killer later confessed to the killing and he and an accomplice were charged with murder.
Themba Bongani Mziyakho and Vusi Sibande appeared at the Kriel Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were remanded in custody.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the family of the dead man reported him missing at the Kriel police station on Friday, April 30.
Hlathi said while police were probing his disappearance, Mziyakho went to the police station Sunday and confessed to killing him.
“He confided in the police that he had kidnapped the missing man, with the assistance of another man. He further told police that he had set him alight out of anger over a girlfriend.
“He then led them to the place where the incident occurred and when police arrived at the scene, they made a gruesome discovery of the man’s charred remains,” he said.
Hlathi said the trail of events indicate that Mziyakho kidnapped the victim on Wednesday, April 28 with the assistance of Sibande.
“Both of them had approached him and told him that he must get inside the car as they wanted to show him something. They then took the victim to a secluded area where Mziyakho instructed Sibande to leave.
“Thereafter, he poured petrol on the victim and set him alight. After the fire died down and the victim was still breathing, he strangled his charred body in the local river,” said Hlathi.
The suspects were expected back in court court on Monday, May 10, for a formal bail application.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Major General Thulani Phahla, strongly condemned the incident.
“Our society is facing a serious psychological challenge of uncontrollable anger. They no longer communicate amicably to resolve differences but use deadly violence instead and this is a matter the society should be all concerned about,” said Phahla.