Minister Fritz appalled by vigilante justice in Delft
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, was appalled to see the video footage circulated of two alleged robbers being attacked, one of whom was killed, by residents in Delft on 25 February 2021. Minister Fritz condemns vigilante justice of any kind and calls on residents to utilize state institutions such as law enforcement, Metro Police or SAPS where they suspect or have evidence of criminal activity.
Following the attack, one of the victims succumbed to his injuries in hospital and the other was seriously injured. Thereafter, six men were arrested and charged for murder and attempted murder. Their next court appearance will be on 9 May 2021.
Minister Fritz was equally appalled to observe members of SAPS seemingly standing by and not responding to the act of vigilantism before them. He regards this as a gross dereliction of the duty and responsibilities of SAPS. He welcomes the subsequent arrest of six suspects involved in the attack and the internal investigation being conducted by SAPS into the incident.
Going forward, Minister Fritz will request SAPS’ report on the internal investigation and should it be necessary, report such to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) for further investigation.
Minister Fritz said, “We cannot allow for vigilante justice to become a norm. We must use state institutions, such as the police and judiciary, to ensure that justice is served. It is paramount to a functioning state and democracy that we abide by the rule of law. Where we are unhappy with the service delivery of those state institutions, we can and must use their respective oversight bodies including the Court Watching Brief Unit, IPID and the Western Cape Police Ombudsman.”
Minister Fritz added, “It is for this reason that we redeployed our LEAP officers to the most crime ridden communities in Western Cape including Philippi, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Delft and Bishop Lavis in October last year. Their deployment serves to bolster policing in those communities and improve responsiveness.”
Minister Fritz added further, “I have been informed by SAPS in the Western Cape of their internal investigation focusing on whether the officers who first responded acted appropriately when they arrived at the scene in Delft and whether the officers requested back-up. This is a welcome step in understanding what transpired and what action is needed to ensure that these kinds of incidents do not reoccur in the future.”
Anyone with information which could assist SAPS in their internal investigation of the police officers’ reported misconduct, or of their external investigation into the murder and attempted murder are asked to immediately come forward and report such by visiting their local SAPS station, calling Crime Stop on 08600 10111, or use the TipOff function on the MySAPS cellphone application.