Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, has condemned a mob justice incident that claimed the lives of four people and injured five others at Plot 52 in the Zandspruit informal settlement.
Preliminary reports indicate that members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) attached to the Honeydew police station were alerted of the mob justice incident, which took place in the early hours of Wednesday.
Upon arrival at the scene, members found a group of more than 200 people gathering at an open space and started throwing stones at police.
“The police immediately called for backup. When re-enforcement arrived, police dispersed the group of people. The police found nine persons, aged between 20 and 30 years old, lying on the ground, badly assaulted and set alight by the angry mob,” the provincial department of community safety said.
Four people were confirmed dead by the team of paramedics, while the five who were critically injured were taken to the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Helen Joseph hospitals to receive medical attention.
The MEC said gruesome acts often leave communities traumatised and have long-term devastating effects.
“We urge the community to remain calm and exercise restraint as we await the full report from the police and look for solutions to their problems. While we understand that communities at times feel let down by law enforcement, we urge them to avoid taking the law into their own hands and being in conflict with the law,” Mazibuko said.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela condemned the incident wherein a group of people went out to search for boys who were allegedly robbing people in the area.
“It is alleged that about nine boys were forcefully taken to the sport ground where they were assaulted, four died and five were taken to hospital,” said Captain Kay Makhubele.
Police are investigating cases of murder and attempted murder.