Lawlessness has to come to an end

In one incident vigilantism, a father was arrested following the death of a man in a vigilante justice attack. The man's seven year old daughter had said the man had raped her.
In one incident vigilantism, a father was arrested following the death of a man in a vigilante justice attack. The man's seven year old daughter had said the man had raped her.
Image: 123rf/Lucian Coman

Communities must stop taking the law into their own hands and allow police to do their job.

The story of a man who was castrated and killed after he was caught allegedly raping two girls in Midrand is shocking.

Tokyo informal settlement residents described to Sowetan in yesterday's edition how the man was severely beaten and his private parts sliced off "with his own knife".

This was after they had heard screams coming from the bushes near the Ivory Park Stadium on Saturday night.

Two teenagers, aged 14 and 18, were walking past the informal settlement when they were accosted by three men armed with a knife and a firearm.

The men had already raped one girl, but the attack stopped when the other girl's screams caught the attention of the community and they came out in numbers.

The residents, upset at what was happening, gave chase and apprehended one of the suspects, who was beaten to death.

The residents told this newspaper that they were tired of criminals who prey on people going past the stadium hence they decided to act in the manner they did.

What they do not understand, though, is that what they did does not solve anything - instead it turns them into criminals.

They take the law into their own hands and are not any different to the criminals who terrorise people as they are also committing a crime of murder.

The police said they were investigating a murder case in connection with the mob justice A, as well as a case of rape.

This means the same people who thought they were fixing the problem are risking being arrested and spending time in jail.

We call on our communities to rather report crime in their areas and give whatever evidence they may have to the police.

Criminals are arrested and convicted in court when there are witnesses who come forward and give information.

So, please work with the cops and report them to their superiors if they fail to arrest the criminals or collude with law breakers after you have opened cases.

Assaulting and killing criminals will not get us anywhere as a society, instead we risk people who may be innocent.

We also call for more police visibility in crime hot spots.

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