Angry residents rioted through the streets of Ravensmead on Tuesday following rumours that suspected child snatcher, Moehydien Pangaker, was hiding out at a local school.
The angry mob of more than 1000 people surround St Andrews Secondary School on Tuesday afternoon after they heard the man accused of snatching eight-year-old Tazne Van Wyk was hiding in the building.
Classrooms were damaged in the frenzy and police who were called to the scene were stoned by the mob.
Resident Cisco van Rensburg, 20, says: “The mense went absolutely mal when they heard he was there. We were at home when we got a message that he was seen in a check T-shirt by one of the residents near the school.
"We were told that when the mense recognised him, he jumped over the fence and was hiding in the dak.
"The mense surrounded the school and even climbed on the roof but he was not found.”
Another resident, who asked not to be named, says even two rival gangs teamed up to attack Pangaker.
“The Young Ones and the Terrible Josters came to moer him and then there was ’n stryery about which gang will get to kill him.
"They started to bots mekaar and were throwing bricks but the Anti-Gang Unit arrived to stop the fight.
"Public Order Police were also there and fired stun grenades to stop the angry mense, but they were so kwaad they even threw the police with bricks.”
In a video made at the scene, a group of women can be heard calling Moehydien a “luis” as they claim police should hand him over to the community.
Police spokesperson, Siyabulela Malo, says police have registered a case of public violence and malicious damage to property after more than 1000 mense went on the rampage.
“At about 3pm, police officials responded to a complaint where a group of 1500 angry community members alleged the suspect pertaining to the missing person had been hiding in the ceiling in one of the classrooms at the school," he says.
"They forcefully entered the school premises and damaged classroom doors.
“Public Order Police were called to monitor the situation and further actions were taken to disperse the angry mob after they were throwing stones and bottles at the police members.”
"Police arrested two suspects, aged 29 and 32, who are expected to appear in court soon.
“The search for the missing child is still ongoing, there are no new developments to report on,” adds Malo.
According to police records, which the Daily Voice has seen, Pangaker has a long list of convictions, which include culpable homicide, burglary, theft and abduction dating back to 1981.
Western Cape Missing Persons Unit (WCMPU) director, Candice van der Rheede, says the violence was a result of reckless rumours.
“This is what happens when people continue to spread rumours without any confirmation," she says.
"Each time people say they saw him, sending everyone on a wild goose chase.
"Not only does this waste resources, it gives the already traumatised family false hope.
"On Saturday we are meeting outside the parents’ home in Clare Street at 11am and will have a mass, properly coordinated search party like we did when Courtney Pieters went missing.
"We understand people want to help, so we are calling on Capetonians to join.”