Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)
Kimberley - The community of ward 16 in Tswelelang are fed up with the escalating crime in the area and have threatened to take the law into their own hands after a recent burglary. 

They on Sunday pointed fingers at their ward councillor and have also accused the police of not doing anything to arrest the perpetrators.

According to them the perpetrators, who they state are responsible for burglaries, robberies and rape incidents in the area, are known to them.

They allege that it is a criminal ring of boys and girls in their own community. The ring is believed to be using a nine-year-old boy to enter targeted houses through the burglar bars.

A ward community meeting was held on Wednesday afternoon to map the way forward after community members vowed to demolish a shack in the area that they believe is serving as a haven for the criminals.

Community members claimed that they caught the perpetrators in the act and assaulted them on Sunday. Some of the stolen items were also apparently recovered in the shack on Monday.

The community is also seeking political intervention as they want their ward councillor to go and threatened to march against the councillor if he is not removed by the ANC.

Representatives from the ANC pledged their support to address the challenges.

At Wednesday’s community meeting, the ANC campaign truck was used as a stage for various speakers. A task team was introduced to the community to lead all actions towards fighting and monitoring crime.

The team is also expected to establish a WhatsApp group, which the police and politicians will also be a part of.

Vincent Phuroe, from the ANC regional office, thanked the community for trusting the party to solve the issues instead of taking matters into their own hands.

“Trust the ANC to deal with this crime issue,” he said. “We will work with the police to address it. The Speaker will also call in members of the ward committee to answer why this area is reportedly not being serviced.”

The Kagisho police station has reported that crime is not “rampant” in Tswelelang and that no cases of assault or burglary in that area were opened on the weekend.

Police spokesperson, Captain Bashoabile Kale, mentioned the possibility that some of the cases might not be reported to the police as their crime monitoring system does not pick up any danger signs in and around Tswelelang.

“The rate of reported cases are just normal and not rampant,” said Kale.

DFA