Police in Limpopo have reiterated the call for residents to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.
The South African Police (SAPS) held a mob justice Imbizo at Koppermine village in Ga-Maja outside Polokwane.
A murder suspect was attacked and killed by angry community members in the area last year after he had allegedly killed his partner.
Acting Limpopo Police Commissioner Christine Morakaladi says communities stand to benefit more from letting the justice system run its course.
“It was in this very same area that a young woman lost her life at the hands of her partner who subsequently lost his life at the hands of the community in September last year and the victims fundamental human rights to life was infringed by both the suspect and the community. I stand here to condemn those barbaric acts.”
Lack of police visibility
Meanwhile, some residents who attended the Imbizo blamed the lack of police visibility in the area for the increase in gender-based violence.
“As men, we must stop abusing women and children and be responsible in our communities,” says one resident.
Another resident says, “There isn’t sufficient police resource in our area, hence we sometimes take the law into our own hands.”
Other mob justice incidents
In February last year, angry community members stoned to death four people and torched their houses in Mutele B Village outside Musina, in Limpopo.
Police said the violence was allegedly sparked by the disappearance of a local man.
Some people, however, had suspected that the man was killed for ritual purposes.
In another incident, an angry mob stoned to death and set alight a 43-year-old man at Bismack Village, outside Tzaneen.
Clinical psychologist and Executive Director at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation Nomfundo Mogapi explains what should be done to prevent acts of vigilantism or mob justice: