South African prosecutors charge 7 over Elvis Nyathi murder

PRETORIA, South Africa – South African prosecutors have charged seven men over the murder and burning of Zimbabwean national Elvis Nyathi in the Diepsloot neighbourhood on April 6.

The seven were part of a group of 14 people arrested by police, but others were let go due to insufficient evidence.

The accused men – who are all South African – were brought before the Randburg Magistrate’s Court charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and extortion.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the men went door-to-door fishing out people suspected of being illegal immigrants before robbing them. Some were abducted and money demanded from relatives to secure their release.

The seven accused will remain in custody until April 22, 2022, to allow them to acquire legal representation.

Nyathi, who was buried in Bulawayo last Saturday, was abducted and killed by a mob that went around Diepsloot looking for illegal immigrants. He was set on fire and beaten as he begged for his life.

The anti-immigrant protests that led to his death were apparently hijacked by criminal elements who robbed foreigners of their belongings during the raids, prosecutors say.

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