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MEC: Mob killing trend deeply worrying

MEC for Community Safety and Police Oversight Reagan Allen is calling for communities to refrain from taking the law into their own hands. HENK KRUGER African News Agency (ANA)

MEC for Community Safety and Police Oversight Reagan Allen is calling for communities to refrain from taking the law into their own hands. HENK KRUGER African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 20, 2022

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Cape Town - The latest report about yet another alleged mob justice killing is worrying the MEC of Community Safety and Police Oversight, Reagen Allen.

A 37-year-old man in Kraaifontein, who community members accused of a crime, was allegedly beaten to death by community members, according to reports.

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The incident occurred on the corner of First Avenue and Lincoln Road in Belmont Park, Kraaifontein, yesterday. No arrests have been made yet in connection with the incident.

It also happened less than 24 hours after Kraaifontein safety structures, community and faith leaders marched for peace.

“This incident highlights a trend that is deeply concerning, especially since the last unjustifiable mob killing of Mr Abongile Mafalala,” said Allen.

“This and any type of crime can never be condoned. Under no circumstances does any person have the right to take the law into their own hands. Wherever it is suspected that the law was broken, it is our civil duty to contact any law enforcement agency so that an arrest can occur, allowing SAPS to further investigate the matter and let the court process run its course.”

Police spokesperson André Traut said: “Kraaifontein police are investigating the death of a 37-year-old man, following the discovery of a body on the corners of Lincoln Road and First Avenue in Belmont Park, Kraaifontein.

“Investigating officers suspect that the victim was beaten to death by community members who accused him of a crime. The circumstances are being investigated, and arrests are yet to be made,” Traut said

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SAPS crime statistics over the four quarters of the 2021/22 financial year indicate that in the Western Cape, there were 227 murder cases which have been linked to vigilantism/mob justice. The breakdown is:

Apr - June: 48 cases

Jul - Sep: 64 cases

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Oct - Dec: 55 cases

Jan - Mar: 60 cases

In the fourth quarter, between January and March 2022, 16 cases, the most in the province, occurred in the Nyanga cluster and 11 each, which is a joint second in the Khayelitsha and Blue Downs clusters. Country-wide during the 21/22 financial year, there were 1 353 cases.

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For the 2020/21 financial year, the Western Cape recorded 151 cases of murder directly linked to mob justice. This means there’s been a year-on-year increase of 76 cases in the province. The country had 903 cases during this period.

Allen said he understands that there are many communities who are frustrated and might have a deficit of trust in SAPS but deciding to effect justice by themselves is just committing another crime.

“This is unacceptable,” he said. “The continued increase in the statistics sketches a worrying picture. I will continue to engage SAPS about their efforts to combat these types of crime.”

He also appealed to community members to not spread any fake/false news about certain individuals without ascertaining the facts.

“This is one of the most dangerous aspects that tie into vigilantism/mob killings. Let us be responsible and law-abiding citizens that do not make themselves guilty of this type of crime.”

The suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Mafalala are expected to appear again in court this Thursday.

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