‘It’s a tragedy, we are all traumatised’ – family seeks help finding brothers bodies in river

‘It’s a tragedy, we are all traumatised’ – family seeks help finding brothers bodies in river

The family of two brothers who were killed in an alleged mob justice attack were told that their bodies were thrown into the river.


The family of two brothers who were killed in an alleged mob justice attack were told that their bodies were thrown into the river.

  • The bodies of two men who were killed in an alleged mob justice attack are still missing.
  • Their family is desperate for the police’s help.
  • A community leader has written to the Mfuleni police station commander and City of Cape to appeal for help.

The family of two brothers who were killed in an alleged mob justice attack, have appealed to the police to help find their bodies in a river that runs across a Covid-19 informal settlement in Driftsands.

They were told that the bodies of Sabelo Rafmeni (24) and Yonela Mdladlamba (22), who were known as amawele (the twins), were thrown into the river on Saturday afternoon, along with two friends.

According to reports, the four were accused of involvement in a housebreaking but the family says the brothers died for a crime they did not commit.

“We were aware of the fact that they were troublesome boys in the community, however, this time they weren’t a part of the group that broke into a community member’s home,” their brother, Findile Rafmeni, told News24.

READ | Cape Town police launch search for missing youths, find two unrelated bodies in river

Their father, Patric Rafmeni, said community members notified him of the attack on a WhatsApp group.

“It was hard for me to go and confront those who attacked my sons because I too am in fear of what they could do to me,” he said.

“It’s a tragedy, we are all traumatised,” the grief-stricken father said.

Sabelo Rafmeni

A picture of Sabelo Rafmeni taken while he was younger.

Rafmeni said he waited until one of the group members told him that his sons had been beaten to death and thrown into the river.

Findile said they were confused and desperate for help.

“The police did offer us some level of assistance, but we still haven’t found their bodies.”

He added that on Monday, police divers searched for the brothers but found nothing.

On Tuesday, the police arrived with drones, but still the bodies were not found.

Police divers search a local river for the bodies of four young men who were allegedly dumped by the group of people after assaulting and killing them.

“We are disappointed that the police will not search on the deep end of the river where the community saw the boys being thrust into,” Findile added.

“They [police] suggested that they would bring horses to try and search, but we refused that solution because horses can’t swim and that would be useless.”

Community leader Tembile Mntuyedwa, who is also a South African National Civic Organisation chairperson, said that they had written to the Mfuleni station commander and the City of Cape Town to ask for help.

“The police divers complained that the river water was too dirty, hence they could not go into the river. We say that it unacceptable,” Mntuyedwa said.

“The government should intervene and try and help the family of the victims,” Mntuyedwa added.

The South African Police Service did not respond to News24’s questions at the time of publication. Comment will be added once received.


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