North West killings shock HRC

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

The Human Rights Commission said yesterday it was saddened and shocked by Monday's killing of four Swartruggens residents.

Commission chairman Jody Kollapen said it was sad that in 2008 people still died on account of their skin colour.

He said what the commission found more disturbing was the age of the alleged perpetrator.

"At the age of 17 this boy was only three when we got our freedom and you would think people who were likely to do these things are people who lived through apartheid."

He said the commission would send its people to the small town to ensure the police treated the case with the seriousness it deserved.

"We will also give the families of the four support and ensure there isn't polarisation of the different groups in the town," said Kollapen.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions has condemned the killings as "racist murders". "Cosatu fully supports the demonstration of protest by the local community and shares their anger. Justice must be done," said Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven.

Craven said the suspect was believed to be the son of a local farmer who had been involved in racist attacks before.

The Democratic Alliance condemned the locals for protesting and called on the North West government to act strongly against such behaviour.

"The DA is investigating reports about hate speech and inciting mass hysteria by the Kgetleng River mayor, who not only interfered at the crime scene, but showed no remorse by taking photos of the bodies of the deceased. It is clear her intensions are to incite the community along racial divisions and to attempt to achieve maximum exploitation of the incident."