Nothing heroic about mob justice – Nathi Mthethwa

2013-11-04 10:38

Those involved in killing six people accused of gangsterism in Khutsong on the West Rand will face the full might of the law, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has said.

“We strongly warn the perpetrators of such disturbing incidents because mob justice is unjustifiable,” Mthethwa said in a statement.

“You cannot resolve crime through committing crime; it is simply unacceptable.”

Six people, including a sangoma, were killed in Khutsong allegedly by residents yesterday.

This happened after about 400 men, believed to be Khutsong residents, held a meeting to discuss gangsterism.

Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said a group of men went to a house in Khutsong Extension Three, where they attacked a 61-year-old traditional healer, setting him and his house alight. The man died on the scene.

Other splinter groups from the meeting went to Extension Four, Phase Two, where two young men, allegedly members of a gang, were assaulted and set alight. They also died at the scene.

Malila said in Extension Five, Carletonville, the groups assaulted a number of people they accused of being gangsters.

“Two alleged gang members were stoned, one died on the scene and the other at the Carltonville Hospital.”

The body of a sixth man was found on Sunday night. He had been set alight.

Mthethwa said: “What is really worrying is the fact that the perpetrators of such acts are often perceived as heroes by some members of communities when such barbaric killings take place. Police are in hot pursuit of these so-called ‘heroes’ because there is nothing heroic when you burn and kill people.”

Police have increased visibility in the area and were being assisted by the public order policing unit to stabilise the area.

“Currently, the area is volatile and police are patrolling,” said Mthethwa.

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