Mob justice is fast becoming a way of life for residents of Limpopo who say they are tired of crime being committed in their area. Residents in these areas, who have had enough of crime, have vowed to do it in their own style and take the law into their own hands, instead of reporting crimes to police.
In another such incident which occurred last Wednesday morning at Njakanjaka, a suspect was beaten to death by community members. The deceased was later identified as Ndivhuwo Sotshayo (30) of Maniini. He was accused of stealing from a local spaza shop. His alleged accomplice was lucky to escape with his life. The two were part of a group accused of terrorising the community in the area.
A few weeks ago another alleged criminal was killed at Mpheni in the Elim area after being accused by the community of being behind a spate of crimes in Mbhokota and surrounding areas. These are but a few examples of the ongoing onslaught against alleged criminals by the communities.
The past weekend, while a seminar about mob justice was taking place at Tshino in Vuwani area, two men were attacked by an angry mob. The men, who were accused of a spate of robberies, theft, attacks on residents and other crimes, were given a taste of their own medicine when angry community members beat up and killed one. The second man managed to survive the vicious attack.
A community member who preferred to remain anonymous said it was good that the two were beaten. “These criminals think they can do as they wish in the community. We are tired of crime and the rule of law is taking us nowhere. Beating or killing them will send a strong message out there that whoever wants to indulge in crime should think twice before doing that,” she said.
She said that residents were angry because there were a number of cases in which they were robbed of their belongings and women were raped in broad daylight. They then “decided to teach the criminals a hard lesson”. She said the community had taken the law into their own hands because they felt the police were not doing their job. “Our community is sick and tired of the police arresting criminals and then, within weeks, they are released.'”
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Ngoatshe Ngoepe said that the deceased had been beaten with different objects and had died at the scene. Ngoepe was very critical of the action taken by the livid residents who had participated in the mob justice incident.
“We are always discouraging the community from taking the law into their own hands. If a crime is committed, the community should call the police and let the officers do their jobs. People should take into consideration that taking the law into their own hands is a downright criminal offence,” he said.
Date:14 April 2018 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.