Police, community leaders failed Zandspruit residents – Bheki Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele was in Zandspruit on Saturday, to find out for himself what exactly happened when a group of community members attacked the men after they accused them of terrorising members of the public.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele told members of the Zandspruit community, during his visit on Saturday 22 May 2021, that it was unacceptable that police did nothing while the young men were attacked. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Police Minister Bheki Cele has taken full responsibility for the police's failure to protect nine young men following mob violence in the Zandapruit informal settlement, north of Johannesburg.

Cele was in the area on Saturday, to find out for himself what exactly happened when a group of community members attacked the men after they accused them of terrorising members of the public.

Eight people died and a young man is in a critical condition in hospital.

READ: Zandspruit mob attack death toll rises to 8 after 2 more succumb to injuries

The police minister began his visit by meeting with community leaders and political parties before proceeding to a public meeting.

Cele apologised on behalf of members of the police service, saying it was unacceptable that police did nothing while the young men were attacked.

“Police failed the community, [but] not only the police have failed the community – the so-called community leadership of the community here.”

ALSO READ: Zandspruit community blames police for vigilante attack deaths

A resident in Zandspruit claims he was once attacked by the group of young men that was attacked by the public.
“I went to fetch my wife from Cradlestone, and the time I was walking home they attacked me.”

Residents here have welcomed the minister's announcement that all those responsible for the mob attack would be tracked and brought to book.

He also said that members of police service who are accused of colluding with criminals would be dealt with.
The minister committed to returning to the community in three weeks, to give feedback on how his ministry is dealing with crime and other issues in the township.

WATCH: Zandspruit mob attack: What led to deaths and multiple injuries

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