Five people linked to vigilante attacks in Diepsloot arrested
‘Community has been living in a war-like environment’
Five people are expected to appear in court on Wednesday in connection with the vigilante attacks that claimed seven lives in Diepsloot at the weekend.
Police spokesperson, Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, confirmed on Tuesday that the men aged between 30 and 38 were arrested on Monday after an eyewitness identified one of them.
“One suspect was arrested after being identified by an eyewitness and he further led the police to four more suspects,” she said.
“All five suspects are expected to appear before the Randburg magistrate’s court on 6 December 2023."
She said the investigating team led by the provincial Serious and Violent Crimes Unit was expected to make more arrests.
“The team worked tirelessly and followed up on all information received.”
The portfolio committee on safety has called on the national and provincial government to urgently address the escalating frustrations of the community.
On Monday, Sowetan reported that crime was escalating in the area with residents calling for the deployment of the army and amaberete.
Chairperson of the committee, Bandile Masuku, said the vigilante attacks were as a result of frustration caused by calls that had fallen on deaf ears.
“The committee has noted that efforts by the community of Diepsloot through various means of demonstrations and protest actions have not heeded the desired outcomes for the police to decisively intervene and bring an end to the scourge of crime experienced by the residents of Diepsloot,” he said.
“The committee is of the view that the concerns and frustrations of the community of Diepsloot and of Gauteng citizens in general are genuine and require concerted efforts by both national and provincial police.
Masuku said the committee was concerned that the interventions provided by police in bringing about permanent solutions to the area had not been of great assistance, saying that no practical and result-driven operations had been put in place.
“The temporary measures being put in place are not long-lasting and only serve to curb crime when there is an outcry from the community,” he said.
“The committee will be calling for an urgent meeting with the provincial commissioner Gen [Elias] Mawela, MEC [for community safety] Faith Mazibuko and the Diepsloot community leaders to discuss all the interventions that have been introduced earlier in the year and come up with a way forward,” he said.
“For too long the community of Diepsloot has been living in a war-like environment where in the main, women and children are terrorised on a daily basis and this has to come to an end.”
According to quarterly (July to September) police stats released about two weeks ago, Diepsloot has seen an alarming increase in murder, attempted murder, sexual offences and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
In all these crimes, Diepsloot features in the top 10 police stations which recorded high numbers in Gauteng.
It ranks number six on murder and recorded the highest increase in cases of attempted murder with 45 cases reported. This showed a 114% rise when compared to the same period in 2022, putting it in the third spot in the province.
There were 45 cases of sexual assault reported in the period under review. This was one less case reported compared to the same period in 2022.
Diepsloot ranks number one on cases of assault GBH with an increase of 41.9% from 167 in July to September 2022 to 237 in the same period this year.
Common robberies increased from 18 to 40 in the same period under review.
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