‘Neglect of communities by government linked to mob justice killings’

The ISS says frustration over police inaction causes communities to take the law into their own hands.

FILE. Residents of Protea in Soweto took the law into their hands as they beat a man to death accusing him of stealing a grass cutter. Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Security Studies says the perceived neglect of poorer communities by government is directly contributing to vigilante behaviour.

Officials in Gauteng and the Free State are investigating recent attacks on suspected gang members.

The ISS says mounting frustration about police inaction is seeing communities taking the law into their own hands.

The ISS's Johan Burger says poorer communities are more at risk of seeing vigilante attacks as locals attempt to address issues they feel authorities aren't attending to.

"When you have this kind of situation, they will then start looking at dealing with the problems they've experienced in their own way."

He says many people in these communities are alienated from government and its services.

"These are people that feel they are left behind, that they are left to themselves."

Authorities have called on communities not to resort to violent measures when addressing crime.