Mob jus­tice adds to mur­der

Gaut­eng crime statis­tics re­veal that 105 peo­ple sus­pected of be­ing crim­i­nals were killed by com­mu­ni­ties

The New Age (Gauteng) - - NEWS - KUTULLO MADISHA AND NTOMBI NKOSI ntombin@the­newage.co.za

GAUT­ENG crime statis­tics have re­vealed that one of the big­gest con­trib­u­tors to the high mur­der rate is mob jus­tice.

Pro­vin­cial po­lice com­mis­sioner LtGen Deliwe de Lange said this dur­ing her pre­sen­ta­tion of the prov­ince’s An­nual Crime Statis­tics to the Leg­is­la­ture Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Com­mu­nity Safety in Jo­han­nes­burg yes­ter­day.

She said 105 cases of mob jus­tice, where peo­ple sus­pected of be­ing crim­i­nals were killed by com­mu­ni­ties.

This as po­lice in Diep­sloot are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mur­der of six peo­ple who were bru­tally as­saulted and later burned alive in the town­ship over the week­end.

In the early hours of Satur­day, res­i­dents of Ex­ten­sion 1 in Diep­sloot went out in pur­suit of a group of men they claimed were ter­ror­is­ing the com­mu­nity.

“I heard peo­ple scream­ing and when I went out to in­ves­ti­gate, I no­ticed that one per­son was al­ready dead. Ap­par­ently he was beaten to death with rocks,” a fe­male res­i­dent who did not want to be named said.

The res­i­dents caught the first man, as­saulted and dragged him to an­other house where he pointed out three of his friends. In the house the mob found goods such as shoes, com­put­ers and cell­phones sus­pected to be stolen.Po­lice man­aged to res­cue one man, while the six were burned to death by the an­gry res­i­dents at a dump­ing site on David Web­ster Street.

“Com­mu­ni­ties are be­ing to guard against acts that con­sti­tute mob jus­tice, no mat­ter how an­gry they may be. We have also on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions ap­pealed to com­mu­ni­ties to re­port to the po­lice all known crim­i­nals and al­low po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate and ar­rest them,” De Lange said.

She said the high rate of mur­der this fi­nan­cial year was at­trib­uted to in­ci­dents of mob jus­tice, 186 do­mes­tic vi­o­lence re­lated in­ci­dents, 82 of taxi vi­o­lence and 25 il­le­gal min­ing re­lated cases.

Ac­cord­ing to the statis­tics, the mur­der rate in the pe­riod of April last year to March this year has in­creased by 6.7%.

She said there were chal­lenges in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year with cer­tain crimes such as mur­der, where the prov­ince reg­is­tered about 435 cases plus at­tempted mur­ders.

“We re­alised that we did not do well also in sex­ual of­fences which in­cludes rape and sex­ual as­sault. “For the first time in years, Gaut­eng has ex­pe­ri­enced a de­crease in trio crimes (car­jack­ing, house rob­bery and busi­ness rob­bery), it has never been like this,” she said. De Lange said Gaut­eng was hard work­ing and in due time, crime will de­crease. “The pos­i­tive crime pic­ture we have seen in the last seven months is not only due to the SAPS but also to the Gaut­eng pro­vin­cial traf­fic po­lice and metro po­lice.

“This ef­fort will be in­ten­si­fied as we ad­vance to­wards the fes­tive sea­son with our op­er­a­tions hav­ing com­menced in Septem­ber,” De Lange said.

PIC­TURE: HER­BERT MATIMBA

HOT SPOT: Diep­sloot vig­i­lantes burnt to death three men sus­pected of steal­ing from the com­mu­nity at this dump­ing site.

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