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'We will not condone any form of criminality': Ramaphosa on Diepsloot tensions

Amanda Khoza Presidency reporter
The distraught family of Mbodazwe Elvis Nyathi, who was killed and set alight on Wednesday night in Diepsloot, on Thursday cleaned the area where he was murdered.
SOdiepsloot0804 The distraught family of Mbodazwe Elvis Nyathi, who was killed and set alight on Wednesday night in Diepsloot, on Thursday cleaned the area where he was murdered.
Image: Thulani Mbele

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the flare-up of violence in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, saying SA will not tolerate any form of criminality.

This comes after rolling protests this week and the murder of Mbodazwe Elvis Nyathi in a mob attack on Wednesday night by a group going door-to-door demanding to check residents’ passports and identity documents. 

“Any form of criminality that results in the death of anyone is not acceptable and we will take action to deal with it,” said Ramaphosa.

The killing came just hours after police minister Bheki Cele visited the area to address community members protesting against the high crime rate in Diepsloot, which they allege is being committed by illegal foreigners.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2022 Heads of Mission Conference on Thursday, Ramaphosa told journalists the government was keeping a close eye on the situation unfolding in Diepsloot.

“The minister was there yesterday and he helped to calm the situation. We are continuing to keep a very close eye and also engaging with various members of the community because we don’t want that situation to turn into an ugly one,” he said.

“So we are consulting on all sides, [with] the people who live there in Diepsloot, and also listening very closely to their concerns. But we will not condone any criminality.”

On Wednesday, hundreds of community members took to the streets to protest against crime and negligent policing of immigration laws. The community threatened to shut down the township after widespread crime in the past few months and a murder at the weekend of a man in his 20s who was shot dead during a robbery.

Responding to the community, Cele said more than 50 police members, including 30 tactical response team members, and 16 police vehicles would be deployed to ensure that crime-fighting in the area is strengthened.

TimesLIVE


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