53 arrested following Etwatwa vigilante attack

Community members were on a manhunt for a pair accused of violent crimes in the area.


JOHANNESBURG - Fifty-three people have been arrested in Etwatwa on the East Rand after the attack and murder of two people believed to part of a local gang, OVL.

Police say members of the community, armed with dangerous weapons, were on a manhunt for the pair accused of committing serious and violent crimes in the area.

Etwatwa community members are singing and chanting songs outside the local police station, demanding the release of the suspects.

Police have confirmed the community members will appear in the Benoni Magistrates Court tomorrow on charges of public violence, possession of dangerous weapons and assault with grievous bodily harm.

Community members from Phomolong in Etwatwa say officers shouldn't have arrested members of the community involved in the attacks.

"If the police come and arrest the guys then after two or three days, they're out again, so the people decided to take the decision themselves."

But police spokesperson Kay Makhubela says the community had no right to take the law into their own hands.

"People tend to take the law in their own hands and that's wrong. You're turning yourself into a criminal."

The community members say they will not leave the station until those arrested are released.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people who were arrested.