The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng on Monday called on the African National Congress-run provincial government to take action against vigilantism after a man was found in a field three days after he was attacked.
DA Gauteng leader John Moodey said the province was facing record high crime rates and the provincial government was taking action too slowly.
“However, citizens must not allow their frustration to overshadow the principles of justice and fairness. If a person stands accused of a crime, he or she must be tried in a court of law where he or she must be afforded the opportunity to make his or her case. Anything short of that denies a person their fundamental rights to a fair trial and against unfair discrimination,” Moodey said in a statement.
Moodey refereed to an incident where a man was badly beaten and found in a field three days after having been the victim of vigilantism in Salvokop, in Pretoria.
“He was found by community members who formed a search party after the South African Police Service (SAPS) failed to search for the man following the attack.”
“I will write to the MEC of Community Safety to inquire what measures her department has in place to deal with mob justice.
“Vigilantism cannot be tolerated as the State is the only legitimate user of force. We can neither allow a situation where people turn to mob justice because they are frustrated with poor policing by the SAPS.”
Moodey said that it was reported on Monday in the Pretoria News that the mob used rocks and sjamboks during the assault and traces of the blood spilt during the attack were still visible on the pavements.
“According to local community members, they know who the alleged assailants are. Community members have taken issue with the fact that the SAPS have not acted against these alleged assailants, who are still free to roam in the community.”