Locals turn against Sam Sokol
02 February 2012 | Mbekezeli Mbuli and Paul Mnisi
SCHOEMANSDAL - Community members bayed for the blood and head of one of the leading local businessman in the subregion, Mr Sam Shokane, who also goes by the name of Sam Sokol.
This incident, which has made national headlines, played itself out this past Sunday in this village after local residents went on the rampage, damaging and setting fire to Shokane's property.
The residents accused him of being the ringleader of ritual killings that have allegedly been taking place in this area, Driekoppies and Langeloop.
"That was nothing. If he doesn't leave this area, we will target his mansion and make no mistake about it, we will bring it down, whether the police are shooting at us or not," said the residents.
They also accused the Schoemansdal police of being biased and protective of Shokane.
"This useless police force should be protecting our children who are being killed for their body parts, but instead they scheme against them," they said.
It has since been established that police fired live ammunition at residents, leaving six hospitalised with gunshot wounds, while others were arrested.
When asked for comment, provincial police spokesman, Lt Col Leonard Hlathi requested the Mpumalanga News reporters to call him after five minutes but his phone remained unanswered for the rest of the day.
When Mpumalanga News tried to source comment from the Schoemansdal police spokesman, Const Nompilo Qwabe, she referred it back to Hlathi.
In December last year, residents of Langeloop, situated about 15 kilometres from Schoemansdal, also went on the rampage, setting alight Mr Elvis Lubisi's tavern and his two Toyota Quantum mini-taxis after they accused him of shooting and killing a patron in his tavern. Lubisi is currently out on bail, while Shokane is reportedly in hiding.