Mob justice adds to murder
Gauteng crime statistics reveal that 105 people suspected of being criminals were killed by communities
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.
HOT SPOT: Diepsloot vigilantes burnt to death three men suspected of stealing from the community at this dumping site.