Cops tempt public to act

Let us get this one clear; there can never be an excuse for taking the law into one's hands. It is the first step to barbarity. The term, "mob justice", is an oxymoron.

Let us get this one clear; there can never be an excuse for taking the law into one's hands. It is the first step to barbarity. The term, "mob justice", is an oxymoron.

On Monday we published yet another story of a community deciding that they would play police and judge. Residents of Katlehong on the East Rand rounded up known drug dealers in their area, apprehended three and gave them a thorough beating.

The police ought to take the blame for both the trading and the subsequent lynching. If the public knows who is dealing in drugs, surely the police would also know. We join the members of that community in asking why it is that they have not arrested these drug peddlers?

As in many townships the community was fed up with the increase in the use of the new drug "Taiwan" or "Nyaope" - a mixture of heroin and dagga.

Katlehong is not an isolated case. Drug peddlers roam the streets freely. This has caused communities to feel that they should take the law into their own hands.

While this is not acceptable, the onus is on the law enforcement agencies to restore the public's trust that they are on top of their game. Until the police are seen to be taking on the fight against crime, and drugs in particular, what happened in Katlehong could start replicating itself in communities across the country.

X