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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Locals beat thugs after cops 'ignore' crimes

By unknown | Feb 28, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Angry residents, fed up with the police for their failure to arrest criminals in their area, took the law into their own hands on Monday afternoon.

They beat up two men accused of terrorising Ngagane for years. Ngagane is in Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal,

The men, aged 25 and 30, were wanted for crimes ranging from burglary to harassment.

The community, angry at the lack of police action, caught the two suspects allegedly intimidating the local pre-school teacher and some children shortly after they had allegedly burgled a neighbour of the teacher.

Sendra Khumalo, the teacher, said both men had terrorised the pre-school pupils for a long time.

"Last year I applied for a protection order against them. They come to the school and steal from us. They came back on Monday and called me a bitch. When the community confronted them they started beating up some residents."

The residents then banded together and beat up the two men.

One man fled while the other was exchanging blows with local residents. He ran away and locked himself in his house when the police arrived.

A resident said: "He burnt traditional herbs to prevent the police getting in at the door. The police struggled for nearly an hour and gained entry by ripping off the security gate. The man insulted them as they subdued him and dragged him to their van."

Another resident said the men had been involved in a series of house burglaries.

"Last week they broke into my house and stole a DVD," she alleged. "They also attacked my neighbour and her daughters and took their cellphones."

She said all the incidents were reported to the police, but nothing was done.

"We cannot be kept hostage in our homes by these men."

Police spokesman Shooz Magudulela said that one suspect had been arrested.

"Police are investigating several cases against him, including intimidation, assault of police officers and resisting arrest. He will appear in court soon."


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