‘We will take law into own hands’ – Newvale

Disgruntled Newvale residents at a community meeting held at the Ashley Wyngaard Hall, in Victoria Park on Tuesday, were adamant that they would continue to take the law into their own hands if law enforcement officials failed to act on cases of crime in the area.

This followed after the mob killing of an alleged rapist in Newvale last week when a 33-year-old man, accused of raping a young woman in the area, was beaten to death by community members. The video of the badly bruised man covered in blood was circulating on social media.

According to the 21-year-old victim, she was on her way home from a night out with friends when the rape incident took place at around 3am. “I was tired and wanted to sleep so I left my friends and walked home. As I was making my way there I saw a man standing alone. I tried to change my route to avoid him and he started to walk towards me. I began to shout for neighbours to hear me. He demanded a cellphone and money and took off my watch. He said he knew where I lived and demanded more items. I said he could take my takkies, but he refused, put a knife to my neck and took me to an open piece of veld and told me to lie down.” She said the deceased then continued to rape her and confirmed that he (deceased) lived in the same area and she had seen him before.

The victim’s aunt said a case was opened the same day adding that the family was distressed by the ordeal. “She struggled to sleep and was having nightmares. On the day she heard that he (deceased) had passed away she was terrified and did not sleep at all.”

A neighbour who did not want to be identified said she had witnessed the alleged mob killing and stated that residents had to take action because police officials failed to respond on time. “This man was repeatedly raping people in our area. This girl was the fifth victim. He showed no signs of remorse. The intention was not to kill him, but we wanted to teach him a lesson,” said the neighbour

Ward 13 councillor Ongama Adonis who called a community meeting after the incident condemned the action and pleaded with community members to refrain from taking the law into their own hands. He said the ward was working on forming a neighbourhood watch with street committees in all 10 areas. “We need to prevent crime through working together and in partnership with the police. We must root out crime and act in full support of the victim.”

Police spokeswoman Captain Namhla Mdleleni said police were informed about a man who was allegedly beaten in Newvale and a case of murder was opened. “When the police arrived on the scene, the 33-year-old victim was bruised and taken to Frontier Hospital where he later died.” Mdleleni indicated that no arrests had been made and urged community members not to take the law into their own hands.

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