Vigilante Violence is not the Answer
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Following the recent vigilante killings in Gugulethu and Philippi I would like to place on record that I strongly condemn these acts, and urge the communities to please use existing safety structures to deal with crime and not take the law into their own hands.
If anyone feels that the South African Police Service (SAPS), Metro Police, or any other safety structure is not doing their job, I am asking them to contact my office as a matter of urgency so that this can be addressed.
Resorting to vigilante violence is a crime, and does not help anyone. We cannot descend into a state of lawlessness.
At my meeting with the Western Cape Police Commissioner, General Arno Lamoer next week, I will ask how many vigilantes have already been arrested, and what is being done to arrest those not yet identified. There are dozens of witnesses at these horrific events. This cannot be business as usual, and SAPS need to take control of the situation.
Everyone has a right to justice and a fair trial, and when found guilty they will be sentenced accordingly.
There are existing structures for the public to raise their concerns over poor policing so that this can be addressed. Together with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) we launched the Reward a Cop, Report a Cop campaign last year.
Members of the public can raise their grievances over poor policing and report any complaints against police or good police work by smsing the word ‘reward’ or ‘report’ to our sms line 35395, calling our 24/7 hotline, 021 483 4332, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting to @RewardaCop.
When reporting police misconduct, please remember to report the incident and give all relevant info, as soon as possible. Take note of police names, ranks and vehicle registration numbers. By reporting bad police, you are supporting those who take their jobs seriously and want to help their communities.
An effective Police Service is an essential part of any functioning democracy.
Spokesperson for Minister Dan Plato
Cell: 072 623 4499