Police are investigating a case of vigilantism following the death of an alleged gang member in Kliptown, Soweto. The victim is believed to be 19-years-old and was allegedly set alight by angry residents on Friday.
They accused him of being part of a group of young people, involved in robberies, murder and selling body parts. Police say they have recorded three murder cases linked to the group.
Community leader Sandile Mqhayi was called to the scene to identify the victim. Mqhayi says the community is under siege. He claims a large number of youths are involved in the gang said to be between the ages of 14 and 19.
“There are about 50 of these children. I don’t think it’s a solution to kill them but something needs to be done.”
The victim was first attacked on Thursday. Police rescued him, but he was released later. This angered residents and they took the law into their own hands.
Another teenager was also targeted but he and another alleged gang member managed to escape. Both were reportedly hospitalised.
The group calls itself DSS, Delela Sizo KuSolva, meaning “Disrespect Us and We Will Deal With You” in Zulu.
Three lives have been lost allegedly at their hands in just two weeks. Fearing for their lives, residents held a meeting.
Community leaders want more police visibility, while accused of not doing their job, police are calling for restraint. Residents say gangsterism is new in Kliptown and they urge police to move fast.