R200 discount for liking us on FB
Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has condemned the latest incident of mob killing but says she understands the “frustrations” that compel people to take the law into their own hands.
Lindile Maci, a suspected robber, was beaten and set alight in Khayelitsha on Tuesday. A family friend said Maci had recently been released on parole from Pollsmoor Prison after serving six years of a 15-year sentence for armed robbery. On Tuesday, he had allegedly robbed two residents.
Police found Maci’s badly burnt body in an open field at 44 Section in Makhaza, about 30 minutes after the attack. No arrests have been made.
“The taking of a human life and the disregard for the rule of law that took place in this vigilante killing have no place in a constitutional democracy. However, I understand the sense of frustration and angry desperation that drives people to commit such acts,” Zille said.
She said a solution to the problem was partly an effective police service that made quick arrests and conducted thorough investigations.
“Ultimately, we have to deal with the problem of crime holistically and one of the components lies in the family and in the home.
The young men who make up the profile of criminals breaking the law and being killed in vigilante murders do not become offenders in a vacuum.”
Last year, Zille established a commission of inquiry into complaints of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha, after an application by NGOs, but it has stalled after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa challenged its constitutionality. A hearing at the Constitutional Court is set for August 6.
Zak Mbhele, Zille’s spokesman, said: “The commission is continuing with its work but the social conditions that are contributing factors to vigilantism have been in place for a long time.”
Mbhele said Zille had yet to meet Mthethwa to discuss the issue.
Last year, 80 people, at least 19 from Khayelitsha, were killed by “vigilantes” in the province. Maci became the fourth victim this year. An unidentified man was necklaced near the Chris Hani railway station two weeks ago.
Police spokesman André Traut said five suspects had been arrested in connection with that incident.
He said “due to a moratorium on crime statistics” he could not disclose how many were arrested last year.