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News - Date: 18 March 2017
Written by: Elmon Tshikhudo / Viewed: 3305
Fed-up with the prevalence of crime in their area and what they call police inefficiency to curb it, communities around the Vhembe region are now resorting to mob justice, where identified criminals or those caught in the act are punished by death.
Many incidents of such justice have been reported in different parts of the district. Last weekend, another man was attacked with an assortment of weapons and killed at the Mvelaphanda road in Dzwerani. His accomplice escaped death by a whisker after the police rescued him at the scene.
The deceased and his accomplice allegedly robbed a taxi driver along the Tshakhuma road of his belongings and escaped by boarding another taxi. They allegedly boarded another taxi at Zwikwengani, going towards Vuwani. They even allegedly robbed passengers of their phones and cash in the other taxi.
Just after passing the crossing to the 15 SAI battalion, the taxi they had boarded was blocked by bakkies. The two alleged criminals ran for dear life but were cornered by angry residents who beat them. Unfortunately, one succumbed to his injuries, while the other one was rescued by the police.
Sources who did not want their names mentioned said the two were part of a criminal syndicate who had been terrorising residents around the Levubu, Itsani, Shayandima, Tshakhuma and other areas for a long time. “We are tired of crime. These people have terrorised us for quite too long and when they are arrested they do not spend a day in jail, but you will see them roaming the streets the following day. We have had enough of crime in our areas, and we have decided enough is enough and we will clean all areas of all criminals,” an angry resident said
She added that they would no longer wait for the police, “but will do it ourselves and we will rid our areas of crime.” Meanwhile, the police in the Vuwani area have launched a massive manhunt for the killers, following this incident.
According to Limpopo police spokesperson Lt Col Moatshe Ngoepe, the suspects were attacked by unknown community members using stones and other weapons. “We received a tip-off about the incident and our members reacted swiftly, but found the deceased lying dead in a pool of blood, surrounded by an assortment of items like stones and wooden poles used in the attack. We have opened a murder case,” he added.
At the time of our going to press, no one had been arrested regarding the incident.
This is not an isolated incident to have taken place in the province at the weekend.
Another man accused of criminal activities in the Hlanganani area outside Giyani was also killed by a mob at Noblehoek village on Sunday afternoon. The deceased has not yet been identified and no one has been arrested for the murder.
Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba condemned the incidents of mob justice and said they were crimes themselves. He warned members of the community to refrain from taking the law into their own hands as it made criminals of them.
The bloodied suspect in the bushes at Mvelaphanda in Dzwerani after he was attacked by a mob.
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.
crime, mob justice, vhembe, criminals, death