Gauteng police have condemned vigilantism by Skierlik Mountain View informal settlement residents in Mamelodi, Tshwane where two men were allegedly burnt alive by community members on Tuesday, 22 March.
Initially, five men were allegedly assaulted by the community which also alleged that the men were criminals who terrorised the community.
According to community members, the deceased were Zimbabwean nationals who were linked to a number of criminal activities in the area.
Gauteng police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo said they strongly condemn acts of vigilantism and people taking the law into their own hands.
Masondo said police received complaints from Skierlik informal settlement in Mamelodi about a group of people assaulting three males.
“The police quickly rushed to the scene and found about 1000 community members standing on the railway. The backup was called and more SAPS and Metro Police responded. Police dispersed the crowd and entered the crime scene. They found three males beaten with stones and two were set alight. Two of the victims were declared dead on the scene while the third one was taken to hospital by ambulance.
It is alleged that the victims were assaulted by the community because they believed to be committing crimes in the area. The case of murder and attempted murder is being opened for investigation. The search is on for those responsible for the murder and attempted murder.”Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo
On Human Rights Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned acts of vigilantism and slammed groups and movements such as Operation Dudula who have been targeting “illegal” immigrants and foreign-owned shops and businesses.
Vigilante justice, another growing problem in Mzansi, is also something Ramaphosa is keen to avoid. The president’s condemnation sent a stern message to Operation Dudula and their top brass:
”We can’t allow people to use vigilantism to deal with issues. We should not allow ourselves to be at war with those from other countries, unemployment must not do that to us. Those who set up organisation – such as Operation Dudula – are contravening the law. This can turn into outright xenophobia…”Cyril Ramaphosa