Zille calls for residents, cops trust
WESTERN Cape Premier Helen Zille says the improvement and efficiency of the police in communities is the key feature in instilling residents' confidence in the police service in Khayelitsha.
Zille added that the key requirement to prevent vigilantism is to have a police service and criminal justice system in which people have the fullest confidence.
Khayelitsha resident Zola Msweswe was stoned, beaten and burnt to death, and intervention by the police prevented an alleged accomplice from suffering the same fate on Saturday.
The latest incident brings to nine the total number of suspected robbers or thieves who have been necklaced or burnt to death in Khayelitsha this year.
Yesterday, Zille conceded that there had been a breakdown of trust between the police and residents. "I will make an announcement on the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the poor relationship or communication between the police and residents in Khayelitsha."
She also said no democracy could tolerate vigilantism and that the provincial government condemned it.
MEC for community safety Dan Plato said: "I have called on the police to arrest suspects identified as inciting violence and being the ring leaders of these vigilante attacks.
"Only a court of law can determine a suspect's innocence and guilt and ensure that the application of the law is decided in a fair hearing."
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said: "We strongly condemn acts of vigilantism. We will not allow the community to take the law into their own hands. Those who are responsible for these violent crimes are criminals themselves, and will be dealt with accordingly."