SAPS battled in vain to save a náked robbery suspect from being beaten to a pulp.
But they were no match for hundreds of angry residents who pelted them with stones and rocks.
It took heavy police back-up and more than four hours to save the battered man!
Residents of block EW in Mabopane, north of Tshwane said the drama began when a young knifeman tried to rob a resident at about 5am.
All hell broke loose when the intended victim screamed. Nearby residents sounded the alarm with whistles and kasi residents came running.
They caught and stripped the alleged thug, and began beating him with sticks, sjamboks and bricks. He begged for mercy but the beating went on.
First two Tshwane metro cops came to the scene. But they could do nothing against 600 angry residents refusing to hand the man over.
Six cops from the Loate cop shop pitched up at about 7am, but the crowd held them off. After the cops called for backup, 20 Public Order Policing cops arrived.
But there were still too few cops, and they had to call for even more back-up. Finally there were 120 Tshwane metro, local and Public Order cops.
The cops were still outnumbered by about five to one. But after battling with warning shots and teargas, the cops fought their way to the bleeding suspect.
By that time he was staggering around, almost senseless. Loate police spokesman Warrant Officer Llifi Ramatlo said the battered man was taken to Odi Hospital. “At the moment we do not know who the man is,” the cop said.
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