Cape Town - Three suspected criminals died in separate vigilante attacks this week, prompting Community Safety MEC Dan Plato to schedule urgent meetings in the areas where violence broke out.
Two mob killings occurred on Monday and a third death happened on Thursday.
On Friday Plato said he was extremely concerned.
“I’m following the trend… It’s the reason why we’re having so many meetings in communities,” he said.
Plato said if the Community Safety Department needed to change its regional programme to focus more intensely on the problem of vigilante killings, it would do so.
In the latest attack this week, a man was killed in Nkanini, Khayelitsha, after he and an accomplice tried to rob a shop.
A resident who asked not to be named said the men tried to target the store, but other residents turned on them when they saw what they were doing.
They beat one man and a second died after jumping from a bridge in an attempt to escape the mob.
On Friday police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed “a group of people” had targeted two men in Nkanini.
On Monday, in the first of two mob attacks, a murder suspect was beaten before being arrested. He died the next morning in a holding cell at the Mbekweni police station in Paarl.
Residents had earlier apparently seen the suspect repeatedly stabbing his girlfriend, Nokubonga Matyusi, 28, in Mbekweni. She died at the scene, then residents went after him. They beat him before he was arrested.
Traut said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate was investigating the man’s death in the holding cell.
In a second mob attack on Monday, two men were attacked by a group along Potsdam Road in Table View. Traut said one was killed.
The attack occurred during a protest in the area following land invasions of two open fields there last Saturday.