‘Vigilantes’ in court for kidnapping, assault

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Nelspruit - Fifteen alleged vigilantes appeared in the Acornhoek Magistrate's Court on charges of kidnapping and assault on Thursday, Mpumalanga police said.

“They were remanded in custody and would be back next week for a bail application,” Captain Robert Mphahlele said.

On Monday, six people told police the group kidnapped suspected criminals, subjected them to a “kangaroo court”, and assaulted them.

Others were allegedly forced to agree they were involved in crime.

Provincial community safety MEC Vusi Shongwe said no one should take the law into their own hands.

“We are not a banana republic. Anyone who witnesses crime should report it to the police and not take the law into their own hands,” Shongwe said in a statement.

On Wednesday the six, who were placed in a witness protection programme, told Shongwe how they were taken to several places and beaten. Their assailants reportedly operated from an unoccupied government building.

Some residents in the area apparently reported crimes to the group rather than the police.

The 15 were expected to apply for bail on Monday.

Sapa


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