Arrest us all, we killed the bastard, say vigilantes
THE ARREST of three accused in the mob killing of a suspected child murderer in Kwanokuthula this week has raised temperatures to boiling point in the Plettenberg Bay township.
Residents have warned that vigilantism will continue as long as the justice system fails to punish violent criminals.
Branch chairman of the SA National Civics Organisation ( Sanco), Thembani Lobese, said crime in Kwanokuthula was intolerable.
The rape and murder of seven-year-old Siphokazi Nini, he said, had pushed residents to the point of “zero tolerance for criminals”.
“Murder has become commonplace in our township. This incident is sending a clear message to the government and the judiciary that we have had enough,” Lobese said, calling for harsher sentences.
On Monday a mob of more than 2 000 residents beat and hacked Derrick Shwati, 37, to death after accusing him of raping and killing the child.
Southern Cape police spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie said the mob beat Shwati with sticks, pangas, bricks and stones.
He said police were on the scene, but “struggled to force their way through the mob to reach the suspect”.
He was already dead when they got to him.
Plettenberg Bay resident Andile Nkonki posted a picture of Shwati’s battered body on his Facebook page.
He said someone had sent it to his cellphone.
Community members said Shwati was released about three months ago after serving a sentence for raping a 16-yearold girl in the nearby Qolweni informal settlement.
Lobese said: “Clearly he was not sent to jail for long enough. What happened to him must be seen as a wake-up call for the judiciary to deliver harsher punishment for the violent criminals living among us.”
The police announcement that three suspects had been arrested further angered the community. Scores of protesters were at the Knysna Magistrate’s Court on Thursday when Mlamli Pshwaei, 54, Mbonisi Puli, 33, and Michael Besana, 31, appeared on charges of murder. They will appear in court again on Wednesday for a bail application.
Lobese said the three had been singled out for an act in which “the entire community” was involved. “They must release them, or arrest all of us.” His views were echoed on a poster brandished by the protesters, which said: “Arrest us all. We killed the bastard.”
Siphokazi’s aunt, Hermina Mqntombi, said Shwati was the boyfriend of a family member.
He allegedly took Siphokazi from her mother’s house. On Monday police got him to point out the girl’s body. – Garden Route Media
COMMUNITY OUTRAGE: Kwanokuthula residents show their outrage at the murder of seven-year-old Siphokazi Nini.
ANGRY: Sanco branch chairman Thembani Lobese and Hermina Mqntombi, aunt of the murder victim.
MURDERED: Siphokazi Nini, 7, of Kwanokuthula.