In an effort to eradicate acts of vigilantism, the police in Polokwane have on Friday 16 February 2018, arrested four suspects aged between 27 and 33 following the spate of kidnapping, brutal assaults and robberies that were allegedly committed by sjambok wielding men.
This vigilante group was committing these crimes under the pretext that they were eradicating drugs and Nyaope in Polokwane.
The Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has condemned the march by the taxi operators who on Friday afternoon 16 February 2018, protested at Polokwane police station demanding the release of the arrested suspects or themselves also be taken in.
The province has experienced acts of lawlessness in the recent past, especially in Polokwane and Seshego areas when the so called Amasjambok were terrorizing people they suspected of dealing in drugs and Nyaope. People were in the process, kidnaped from various places, severely assaulted and robbed of their belongings; all in the name of eradicating the scourge of drugs and Nyaope. In some instances, these vigilante activities led to the victims succumbing to the injuries sustained during the assaults.
A meeting was held on the 17th of October last year between this vigilante group, police management and representatives from the Polokwane municipality. These people were told in no uncertain terms during that meeting that the police will not tolerate any acts of lawlessness.
All their sjamboks were on that day confiscated.
The intensive police investigations soon commenced to hunt down the culprits. This led to the arrest on Friday of the four suspects. One of them aged 31, who was arrested in Seshego, has already been linked to various crimes, including murder, robbery, kidnapping and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH).
The arrest of the suspects prompted the taxi operators to protest at Polokwane police station, demanding that they too be arrested. The police were determined to do exactly that but the group dispersed without any incident.
“The police will not tolerate any acts of vigilantism and will act decisively against anyone who takes the law into his/her hands. There are legal structures such as the Community Police Forums in all our policing precincts that people may join to assist the police in eradicating crime”, concluded General Ledwaba.
We call upon any person who might have fallen victim to the actions of this vigilante group to come forward to enable us press even more charges against any individual involved.
The suspects will appear in Polokwane magistrate court on Monday 19 February 2018. More arrests are expected as police investigations are continuing.
South Africa Today – South Africa News