DA in call to act against vig­i­lan­tism

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS -

THE DA in Gaut­eng yes­ter­day urged the ANC-run pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to take ac­tion against vig­i­lan­tism af­ter a man was found in a field three days af­ter he was at­tacked.

DA Gaut­eng leader John Moodey said the prov­ince was fac­ing record high crime rates, and the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment was act­ing too slowly.

“How­ever, cit­i­zens must not al­low their frus­tra­tion to over­shadow the prin­ci­ples of jus­tice and fair­ness.

“If a per­son stands ac­cused of a crime, he or she must be tried in a court of law where he or she must be af­forded the op­por­tu­nity to make his or her case. Any­thing short of that de­nies a per­son their fun­da­men­tal rights to a fair trial,” Moodey said.

He re­ferred to an in­ci­dent in which a man was badly beaten and found in a field three days af­ter hav­ing been the vic­tim of vig­i­lan­tism in Sal­vokop, Pre­to­ria.

“He was found by com­mu­nity mem­bers who formed a search party af­ter the SAPS failed to search for the man fol­low­ing the at­tack.

“I will write to the MEC of com­mu­nity safety to en­quire what mea­sures her de­part­ment has in place to deal with mob jus­tice.

“Vig­i­lan­tism can­not be tol­er­ated as the state is the only le­git­i­mate user of force.

“Nei­ther can we al­low a sit­u­a­tion where peo­ple turn to mob jus­tice be­cause they are frus­trated with poor polic­ing by the SAPS.”

Moodey said it was re­ported in the me­dia yes­ter­day that the mob had used rocks and sjam­boks dur­ing the assault, and traces of the blood spilt dur­ing the at­tack were still vis­i­ble on the pave­ment.

“Ac­cord­ing to lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers, they know who the al­leged as­sailants are.

“Com­mu­nity mem­bers have taken is­sue with the fact that the SAPS have not acted against these al­leged as­sailants, who are still free to roam the com­mu­nity,” he added. – ANA

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