Police warn community against vigilantism

“Deciding to take the law into your own hands will lead to your arrest.” warns Captain Charlene Van Der Spuy from Amanzimtoti SAPS.

August 16, 2013
Teens arrested in vigilante murder
Acts of vigilantism will not be tolerated by the police, who will ensure such cases are properly investigated and those involved are charged accordingly.

When the public  are attacked and killed by a few members of the community, it shows a complete disrespect for law and order and the human rights of all in South Africa.

“We cannot not allow chaos and unfair judgement to be made on those who have not yet had a fair investigation and trial, ””said Capt van der Spuy. “If the suspect was a person’s son, daughter, father, mother, sister, brother or friend, one would naturally want them to have a fair investigation and trial.  We cannot solve crime by creating more crime –  and most often the crime committed by vigilantism is even more violent or serious than the alleged offender’s initial crime.”

Fighting crime with crime is wrong and revenge killings must stop.

Alleged criminals or suspects must be brought to justice by being taken to the police station and the law must be allowed to run its course.

Ethekwini Outer South SAPS Cluster commander, Maj-General TJG Ndlovu,  appealed to the community to report those suspected of being involved in criminal activities to police and not to take the law into their own hands.  She said: “Two wrongs do not make a right and crime cannot be solved by committing another crime.”

What is vigilantism?
Vigilantism is the criminal offence of taking of law into your own hands, which will lead to arrest.

Tips to create a vigilantism-free community

  1. Community must know and must take it upon themselves to report anyone they catch committing crime immediately.  Do not take any form of illegal action, as it is a crime to do so and you will be arrested.
  2. Open a case so the suspect can be charged and arrested for the crime committed.
  3. If the community suspects someone is involved in crimes in their area, they must not hesitate to report it to the police. The police will investigate and arrest those involved. Call 08600-10111 Crime Stop to report any criminal activities and stay anonymous if you desire.
  4. Remember, even a criminal has a right to be protected by the law, irrespective of what offence they have committed. Once a criminal opens a case against the community, the law will take its course which could result in him/her not being arrested, thus increasing the number of crimes in the community.
  5. In instances where a person is suspected or accused of crimes, one must have valid proof against that person. Do not judge a person by his/her age or face and accuse them of crime.
  6. If a suspect is caught in the act or is suspected of a crime, he or she should be handed directly over to the police.

“We cannot bring chaos to our community by taking the law into our own hands and acting as judge and executioner.  We do not have the right to take the law into our own hands or to decide who should live or not.  We must follow the right procedures and create a society and community that operates as a community that works with the police to bring criminals and offenders to justice.”


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