The message by police that vigilantes will be brought to book was made clear last week when two suspects were arrested and charged for allegedly killing a suspected house robber.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane  said that two suspects, aged thirty-one and forty-two were arrested at Newlands East for murder.

“The suspects were arrested following an intensive investigation by KwaMashu detectives into  persons suspected of taking the law into their own hands”, Lieutenant Colonel Zwane said. He explained, “It is alleged that on 12 September 2019 at 20H30, the victim (25) was at Newlands East when he was approached by members of the community.

“He was suspected of being involved in a theft at a home in the area. The victim managed to flee to Siyanda while being chased by his accusers. He was eventually caught and severely assaulted. His family came to his assistance and he was taken to hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. A case of murder was opened at the KwaMashu police station for investigation”, he said.

A dedicated detective team was assembled to investigate the case as police view acts of mob justice in  a very serious light. The police officers utilised their expertise and arrested the suspects in Newlands East last week.

“Vigilantism is the act of enacting perceived justice summarily and without legal authority and will not be tolerated by the SAPS”, he said.

Vigilantism is often rationalized by the belief that proper legal forms of criminal punishment are either non-existent, insufficient, or inefficient. Vigilantes normally see the government as ineffective in enforcing the law; such individuals often claim to justify their actions as a fulfillment of the wishes of the community. Persons alleged to be escaping the law or above the law are sometimes the victims of vigilantism. Vigilante conduct involves varied degrees of violence.

21 October 2019

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21 October 2019