While South Africans need to work with the police to fight crime, mob justice is not the answer.
South Africans need to work with the police to reduce and ultimately eradicate crime in the country. However, taking the law into your hands makes you as bad as the perpetrators.
That is according to Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe who said there are a number of reasons why mob justice takes place.
“Sometimes community members may get caught up in the heat of the moment and throw all reason out of the window and deal with a criminal themselves, only to find that they will regret their decision later on,” said Col Bhembe.
The second reason he gave for people getting caught up in mob justice is that they often get impatient with prolonged justice and court processes.
“People would rather take the law into their own hands and opt for a quick solution. We as the police do not encourage this type of behaviour,” said Col Bhembe, adding that law and order should be left to the experts, who are trained and equipped to deal with crime and criminals.
“Rather call the police to a crime scene than take matters into your own hands, regardless of how strong you feel about the criminal act that was committed.”
Col Bhembe explained that the police are working hard to restore the trust and faith of communities in those who are meant to protect them.
“We have the best interest of the community at heart,” he affirms.
In recent news, two men died at the hands of angry community members in Masoyi near Hazyview, Mpumalanga. The deceased had allegedly robbed a business owner when the community traced them and took them back to the scene of the crime. The two were severely beaten and later died in hospital.
“The police are now looking for the people who did this and they will be brought before a court of law. It is illegal to take the law into your own hands and if found guilty, you will serve jail time,” warns Col Bhembe.
He encourages the community to report crimes to their nearest police station before an innocent person ends up dead.
“Make your voice heard by giving a statement at the police station,” he said.