Mob justice playing out in Dunoon: Body discovered in drain, another found burnt in the street

2018-07-31 18:22

Four men were killed in mob justice incidents in mid-July in Dunoon, near Milnerton, reports GroundUp.

One of them was burnt to death. This is according to Dunoon's neighbourhood watch. Information from the police partially backs up the claim, but not entirely. GroundUp was at the scene after one of the killings.

Milnerton police spokesperson Captain Nopaya Madyibi confirmed that one person was found burnt beyond recognition on Yomelela Street on July 12.

"The reason is unknown and is being investigated as to whether or not it was mob justice and no arrests have been made," said Madyibi.

A victim of vigilante violence lies burnt to death on 12 July in Dunoon. The photo, taken by a teenager that GroundUp's reporter met at the scene, has been intentionally blurred.

Madyibi also said that in a separate incident, Milnerton police found a deceased man pushed into a drain, head first, and that there was no information as to what had transpired. The case, she said, was still under investigation.

Noluthando Ludziya, coordinator of the neighbourhood watch, said she was aware of four people, accused of theft, that have been killed in the month of July. 

"We don't support people taking the law into their own hands. We don't support mob justice but we feel that people are sick and tired of the crime, which has been increasing every day and there has been no change."

Ludziya said that the Milnerton police's claim that they have dedicated a lot of policing resources to Dunoon was not reaping fruits. On the contrary, she said, the township was actually seeing crime on the rise. She said this was because of the Milnerton police's unwillingness to work together with the neighbourhood watch.

Deceased allegedly caught red-handed

"Crime has been increasing day-by-day. People's homes are burgled. Drug use has been increasing … People are getting robbed on their way to and from work. People have lost hope in the police," she said.

She said the thieves who were killed by residents in Dunoon's Section 28 and in the Bekhela informal settlement were caught red-handed robbing women.

Another neighbourhood watch member, Sibongile Nomgcana, who lives in Dunoon's Section 28, said that on July 21 he attended a funeral of a man who was killed in a vigilante attack. The man lived with his parents not far from his house.

"We went to Atlantis to bury him because his parents are my neighbours. I went to support them. We don't want people getting killed but we don't support what they are doing. People get up early in the morning to go to work so that they can support their families and then they get robbed," said Nomgcana.

He was critical of the Milnerton police's weak enforcement of the law.

"They do nothing and hence people are fed up and say that when they catch a skollie (petty criminal) they will take the law into their own hands because they are just tired of it. Residents say that they know the skollies and so when a crime has been committed, and residents show the police the skollie, they don't make arrests, and these guys keep on robbing people," he said.

Only two vans deployed

"These laaities (children) when arrested, are taken to Pollsmoor prison and then in no time are released back to the community where they keep robbing people."

Nomgcana said that at times when they called the police they would not respond to incidents because they had deployed only two vans in the area, one for taking complaints and the other for patrolling.

"So when you call them, they will tell you that a van will come but that van is busy with another complaint, while you have something urgent," Nomgcana said.

Captain Madyibi did not respond to these allegations, but called on people to report mob justice incidents so they can be investigated. She urged people not to take the law into their own hands.

"Anyone with information can contact the sector manager, Captain Stemele, on 079 894 1465," she said.

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