WC DPP urges communities not to resort to vigilantism

This week, 14 people were handed a collective sentence of over a thousand years for a vigilante attack in which six men were tortured and killed in Joostenberg Vlakte in December 2014

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CAPE TOWN - Mob justice continues to play out in various communities, as police admit they are failing to meet their obligations in the fight against crime.

This week, police in George are investigating a vigilante attack in Thembalethu, while three people have been arrested in connection with an attack on a man who was found beaten to death near Monwabisi Beach.

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At the same time, National Police Commissioner Khehla Sithole has told parliamentarians that police are "handicapped" due to budgets cuts, and the resulting loss of human capital and lack of vehicle maintenance.

This week, 14 people were handed a collective sentence of over 1,000 years for a vigilante attack in which six men were tortured and killed in Joostenberg Vlakte in December 2014.

The deceased were accused of killing the accused's friend, a security guard, who was robbed and shot dead for his firearm. Now, more than six years later, mob justice is still prevalent and with police admitting to shortcomings, it's unclear how the scourge will be addressed.

In some of the latest incidents, a 29-year-old man was beaten to death by a group of people who accused him of stealing. He sustained multiple wounds all over his body found dumped near Monwabisi Beach earlier this week.

In Thembalethu, in George a man was killed after apparently breaking into a house and stealing cellphones. According to a police report, he was allegedly assaulted with a number of objects and set alight.

Western Cape Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Nicolette Bell, has this week appealed to communities not to resort to vigilantism, adding that experienced prosecutors would be allocated such cases once they reached the courts to secure sentences that fit the crimes.

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