FEE BEARING - Cape Town - 150915 - A bunrt out police van in Masiphumelele after a vigilante attack - NO BYLINE

Cape Town - A group went on the rampage in Masiphumelele on Tuesday night, allegedly killing a man and then stoning police, following the murder of a 14-year-old boy in the area.

Local residents said they were protesting at the lack of an effective police presence in the area. One said that the killing had sent a warning to other criminals.

Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said a group of residents in Masiphumelele took to the streets in violent protest following the boy’s murder and had torched a police van.

Police discovered the body of an unidentified man not far from the burnt vehicle.

“Public order policing members entered the area in an effort to stabilise the situation,” she said.

The city council’s director for safety and security Richard Bosman said the residents were up in arms after the murder of the boy and demanded justice.

Bosman said the council had received requests on Tuesday night to assist the police.

“We directed our staff trained in crowd management to Masiphumelele.”

Resident Mzuvukile Nikelo said the community had a right to protest over the absence of police in the area for a long time. “There’s been a lot of rape and crime cases but nothing is being done.”

He said residents saw street protests as the only way to defend themselves from criminals. “I’m angry because when I leave my child behind I don’t know what will happen because we are not safe, crime has really increased here.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, said the killing of the man some residents suspected of murdering the boy, was a warning to other criminals in the area. “We were angry last night but we gave criminals a stern warning. We even went to the houses of those that are known to be breaking the law in whatever way, to tell them they’ll be next if they break the law.”

She said she now felt safer walking the streets because of what had happened.

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