Ar­rest us all, we killed the bas­tard, say vig­i­lantes

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NEIL OELOFSE

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.

PIC­TURE: NEIL OELOFSE

AN­GRY: Sanco branch chair­man Them­bani Lobese and Her­mina Mqn­tombi, aunt of the mur­der vic­tim.

MUR­DERED: Siphokazi Nini, 7, of Kwanokuthula.

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