Teenagers in court after 'witchcraft' arson

Eight boys between the ages of 14 and 18 appeared in the Giyani magistrate's court on Monday in connection with the witchcraft-related torching of a number of huts in the area last week.

According to the control prosecutor police were still searching for a number of other youths in connection with the incidents.

The youths who were in court, were released on bail and will appear in court again next week Friday.

About 90 youths were allegedly involved in the torching of 39 houses in four villages in the area, north-east of Polokwane, last Wednesday and Thursday.

The crowd reportedly told the occupants of the houses "you are a witch" before burning their homes, police reported at the time.

At one house, youths opened fire on the police who had arrived to stop them.

The police returned fire and in the crossfire, 20-year-old Solly Mathebula was killed.

His death is also being investigated.