Don't take law into your own hands, urges security cluster in wake of Pretoria clashes

Police patrol Lilian Ngoyi Street after the looting in Pretoria this week. (Rosetta Msimango, City Press)
Police patrol Lilian Ngoyi Street after the looting in Pretoria this week. (Rosetta Msimango, City Press)

The justice, crime prevention and security (JCPS) cluster has issued a stern warning to drug dealers operating in Pretoria.

This follows two days of violence in the capital on Wednesday and Thursday when local taxi operators clashed with foreign nationals after the death of one of their colleagues.

On Tuesday, taxi driver Jabu Baloyi was shot and killed, allegedly by a foreign national, in Pretoria.

The JCPS has called on all law-abiding citizens not to take the law into their own hands.

It also urged co-operation between law enforcement officials and residents to fight the culture of drug peddling that is rife in many areas.

"Community members should report all criminal activities to the nearest police station and they should join recognised community policing forums. The cluster is willing to partner with any sector that wishes to make a positive contribution to fighting crime," JCPS spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said.

READ: Rubber bullets fired as sporadic unrest flares up again in Tshwane

"As the cluster, we want to send a strong message to drug peddlers that drug dealing will not be tolerated in our society and it has no place to continue to thrive.

"Law enforcement officials will not hesitate to apply the full might of the law. Drug dealers have no place in our communities because they are killing the future of our young people.

"Furthermore, it is disappointing to receive reports that some of law enforcement officials are alleged to be in cohorts with drug dealers. Law enforcement officials are expected to uphold the rule of law and ensure that our communities are safe," said Dlamini.

The cluster assured residents that its investigating team was working day and night to root out all forms of corruption within the ranks of law enforcement. 

Police officers were also warned to display high morals as well as to protect and serve communities.

"Therefore, if police officers are found to be working with drug peddlers, they will be dealt with in the harshest manner, as they are expected to live by the principles that are stated in the Constitution and the SAPS code of conduct.

"We call for calm as investigators are working day and night to bring those who are suspected of shooting and killing Baloyi to justice. As the cluster, we want to send our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased person. All those responsible for this heinous crime will be brought to book and will face the full might of the law," said Dlamini.

On Thursday, the ANC in Tshwane said it was "disturbed" by the riots that left shops looted and some buildings set alight.

The party also called for calm and urged taxi operators to allow for the law to take its course. 

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