‘Necklace will force criminals to listen’

2011-07-02 19:09

“I am a Christian. I’m not supposed to say people must be killed, but enough is enough.”

Retired clothing shop supervisor Nomonde Lokwe did not mince her words as she suggested a solution for crime-ravaged KwaDwesi, outside Port Elizabeth.

“When we got here in the 1970s there was no crime but now at 6pm you’re afraid to go outside your home,” the 69-year-old said.

She said once darkness engulfed the township, going out was a big risk.

Lokwe believed criminals did not listen.

“Tyres will force them to listen,” she said referring to necklacing, a 1980s people’s justice practice used against suspected apartheid police spies, in which a person would be doused with petrol and a tyre put around their neck and set alight.

She warned that necklacing would return unless police “just wake up”.“We’ll necklace criminals. We don’t like it but we have no option,” Lokwe threatened.

The son of a KwaDwesi couple who did not want to be identified was stabbed to death on the doorstep of their home four years ago.

The couple’s daughter was recently mugged and her bag stolen while she was on her way to work early in the morning.

Her unemployed father now walks her to the taxi every morning.

“This is the return of the necklace. The worst is still to come,” the man warned.

He blamed government for taking too long to respond to the needs of township residents.

“If a crime is committed against a white person, police respond quickly,” he said.

Another resident, 69-year-old Sizakele Dolophu, opted for a R275-a-month subscription for a security alarm – a rarity in townships.

“I prefer the security company ADT to the police,” Dolophu said.

He complained that the promised regular police patrols had yet to materialise.

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