Photo: David Tembe / TW

SA Human Rights Commission slams police and vigilantism in Diepsloot

The SAHRC is coming down hard on the violence and poor policing seen in Diepsloot. What will happen in the community next?


Photo: David Tembe / TW

The situation in Diepsloot remains volaitile. One Zimbabwean man was killed by a vigilante mob this week. On the other hand, angry residents are demanding an end to the rampant crime in the area. They insist that the bulk of the crime is being committed by foreign nationals. With everyone having their say, the South African Human Rights Commission has now got involved too.

SAHRC demands more from Diepsloot police

The SAHRC has described Elvis Nyathi’s murder as a “tragedy” and “outrageous” act of vigilantism. According to the commission, the area is plagued by high levels of unequal policing.

“It is an observation that communities, burdened by higher levels of unemployment and poverty have access to proportionately fewer policing resources. This in turn results in higher levels of crime, however, these circumstances do not under any circumstances justify individual or group acts of vigilantism.”

SAHRC’s Gushwell Brooks

The commission says its deeply concerned by the targeting of vulnerable groups by Diepsloot residents. The SAHRC says foreigners are being targeted and scapegoated for all the social ills within the community.

“Apartheid style” questioning and Ramaphosa weighs in

Since Nyathi’s death, Police have been criticised for questioning foreigners and demanding that others “prove” they are South African. Videos have emerged showing Police have residents describe body parts in certain South African languages.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is not at all pleased with the police’s actions. According to the president, it’s going back to the “apartheid way of doing things.”

ALSO READ – ‘It’s apartheid ways!’ Ramaphosa slams ‘hunting’ of foreigners in Diepsloot

While visiting Diepsloot on Friday, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi revealed that 25 immigration officers will be deployed to Diepsloot for the next three months. An extra 16 Police vehicles have also been made available at the local police station.