An alleged act of vigilantism in KwaMsane in the uMkhanyakude District of KZN was caught on video recently and went viral on local social media pages.
The video, which has since been removed from Facebook but is still circulating on WhatsApp, shows two men who appear to have been assaulted, surrounded by an unidentifiable group.
Among the allegations made on the video is that the victims are responsible for home break-ins within the area.
While the pair are not assaulted on screen, they appear to have visible bruising.
Local SAPS spokesperson Captain Sbusiso Mkhize described the video as ‘shocking’, adding, however, that no case of vigilantism or assault has been opened.
“We condemn when people take the law into their own hands because this has many negative consequences,” said Mkhize, elaborating that future cases could be jeopardised ‘because the method used to gather the evidence’ is not legal.
Mkhize added people may be coerced to confessing to crimes they know nothing about or fabricate others because of the pressure from the mob.
He said another concern is that KwaMsane residents don’t report crimes, which impacts resources.
“The police are deployed to areas where most crimes are committed, and one way of determining if an area is a crime hot spot is how many reports are made to the police,” explained Mkhize.
“We urge communities to desist from assaulting those they suspect of wrongdoing, and rather make use of their community policing forums.
“Councillors and izinduna must also work with their respective communities in the fight against crime.”
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