When the public decides to take the law into their own hands, the backlash is invariably a consequence of a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system.
But the point must be made that street justice is as repulsive as the very criminal acts two suspects were accused of committing before being bludgeoned to death in Durban's KwaMashu township last week.
Thus, no amount of justification can mitigate the criminality of the vengeful actions of the group. Their deed must be condemned in the strongest terms because they undermine the rule of law and promote anarchy.
Most infuriating is that the two suspects had been arrested and were on their way to show the police where they had hidden their firearms.
On arrival at the scene, the two suspects were dragged from the vehicle by members of the public, who stoned and hacked them to pieces in front of the helpless policemen. Clearly the mob interfered with a police investigation while also ignoring the suspects' right to be tried and proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the state in a court of law.
We cannot allow this country to degenerate into the mindlessness of instant street justice, hence the police must illustrate this point by bringing those responsible for this dastardly act to book.