Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
7 Apr 2022
5:33 pm

No arrests made after man killed in mob attack as Cele returns to Diepsloot

Citizen Reporter

Police Minister Bheki Cele says the killing was 'unfortunate' and that the incident will be investigated.

Police minister Bheki Cele in Diepsloot on 7 April 2022 after Elvis Nyathi was killed and burnt in mob attack. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Police Minister Bheki Cele says law enforcement will address the issues plaguing Diepsloot as protests take place in the township.

This is after one person was killed on Wednesday night, allegedly by a mob, just hours after Cele, National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola and Gauteng Premier David Makhura visited Diepsloot earlier in the day.

The deceased man, identified as a Zimbabwean national, was attacked by a mob and burnt alive as community members of Diepsloot protested against crime in the area.

According to the police, the mob went door to door around 9pm and demanded passports from foreign nationals which then led to the victim, Elvis Nyathi, being attacked when he tried to flee.

No arrests

Speaking to the media during his visit to the crime scene on Thursday, Masemola said there about 120 police officers deployed to Diepsloot and that no arrests have been made in connection to Nyathi’s murder.

Meanwhile, Cele said the killing was “unfortunate” and that the incident would be investigated.

“We have senior detectives here who have put together a top team to pursue the matter, but not only this… also other cases that have taken place here at Diepsloot so we are able to reduce criminality, especially the murders. If we don’t arrest these people crime will continue,” he said.

The minister also dismissed claims that the police presence in the area was not effective.

ALSO READ: ‘Dismayed’ EFF to visit family of victim killed in Diepsloot mob attack

“Sixty-three [police officers] were on the ground last night, but unfortunately they were on the late side. I hear some people saying there were no police, but 24 [illegal immigrants] were arrested here. Now, I don’t know who arrested them if there were no police,” he continued.

On Wednesday, Cele said that 30 members of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) and Public Order Policing (POP) unit would be deployed to Diepsloot.

The minister also indicated that 16 police vehicles would be delivered to the Dieplsoot police station to patrol in the area.

“We did not make promises, we made commitments and we are honouring those commitments. I’m sure the station commander can take you to the station now to show those new cars… they are there,” Cele said on Thursday.

Cele is expected to return to Diepsloot on Friday.

‘Adequately respond’

Amnesty International have since called on police to address crime as well as xenophobic attacks in the township.

“Authorities need to step up and adequately respond to high crime rates and deal with xenophobic attacks on vulnerable migrants who have become a scapegoat for communities unhappy with issues of crime,” the organisation’s executive director Shenilla Mohamed said.

READ MORE: ‘We are poor, we are starving, we are forgotten’ – Diepsloot residents

“Police need to act against anyone perpetrating a crime, but also those who take the law into their own hands.

“The state has failed South Africans and migrants living in the country by not dealing with high crime rates, and by allowing impunity to continue around xenophobic attacks.

“The violation of people’s rights to safety, security, dignity and life must not be allowed to continue with impunity,” Mohamed added.

Four people killed

The spate of killings in Diepsloot triggered mass protests, and the community have threatened to shut down the township.

It has been reported that seven people were shot dead while 14 others sustained serious injuries this past weekend.

However, Masemola says the police were only aware of four people who were killed.

“Yesterday, we were here with the Minister of Police. We visited the crime scenes and some families in this area and we are aware that there are four people murdered. [Regarding] the seven people [reports], we don’t know where you get it from… maybe you give us the record or the bodies,” he said.

WATCH: Diepsloot protest reaches boiling point