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Zille to tackle vigilante killings

Helen Zille said she is considering setting up a commission of inquiry to probe mob justice killings.

Helen Zille
Helen Zille,Murder,Mob Justice,mob violence,Vigilantism,violent murder
Local Politics

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Wednesday said she is carefully considering the possibility of setting up a commission of inquiry, to probe the cause of vigilante killings in Khayelitsha.

The most recent victim of was found dead in an open field in Makhaza over the weekend.

Zille said the commission would uncover why there appears to be a breakdown of trust between police and the community.

“There have been a significant number of killings and the total is now 10. This is a very serious statistic. One vigilante killing is bad enough.”

She said she was seeking legal advice.

“I have to make sure that I look at all the possible interventions within the scope of my powers and then act appropriately, and not outside the constitution or the law.”

The Western Cape Community Policing Board has called for drastic action.

The board’s chairman Hanif Loonat said they intend meeting with police this week about the alarming increase in vigilante attacks.

“I think it is important that the Western Cape Community Police Board sit with the hierarchy of the police in the Western Cape and strategise the plan in changing the attitudes at station level.”

Meanwhile, police on Tuesday said no arrests have been made in connection with the Makhaza killing.

Officials believed he had been stoned and assaulted with various objects before being set alight.

The police's Fredrick van Wyk said, “No arrests have been made in the murder of the unidentified male who was found early on Saturday morning.”

Van Wyk urged anyone with information to come forward.

Mob justice or 'kangaroo courts' are common in Cape townships.

Residents claim immediate action is the most effective way to fight crime in their areas.

The say police are too slow to respond to incidents of crime, while 'kangaroo courts' catch criminals as soon as they commit an offence and punish them immediately.

(Edited by Lisa Bartlett)


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