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    Crime Messages ~ Necklace Murders

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    "Ratting on Rampant Crime in South Africa"


    February 26 2001 at 10:25PM
    By Baldwin Ndaba

    Just a week after four people were killed in vigilante attacks in Soweto, a 19-year-old man was saved from another mob attack - this time in Orange Farm - after being accused of armed robbery.

    Freelance photographer, Eddie Kambule, who led Kinos Hlatshwayo's dramatic rescue on Sunday, said the mob was threatening to necklace the suspect.

    She said the crowd's anger increased after police took more than an hour to arrive at the scene of the crime.
    'Corrupt and irresponsible'

    "Community members became highly agitated when the police failed to arrive at the scene and then decided to make plans and set his body on fire.

    "The mob had already made plans to buy petrol, while a tyre was put next to his body. I pleaded with them and managed to calm them for a while before a patrol unit came," Kambule said.

    She had earlier phoned the Orange Farm police station to tell them of the mob attack, but the police did not initially respond. Hlatshwayo was eventually saved when a police unit on a routine patrol drove into the area.

    He was taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

    Hlatshwayo was on Monday still in a serious condition in hospital.

    The residents had accused Hlatshwayo and his two friends, who managed to escape, of robbing a woman of her jewellery at gunpoint.

    Hlatshwayo had allegedly confessed to having staged the robbery together with his friends.

    Kambule said: "The community is sick and tired of the spiralling crime in the area. They accused the local police of being corrupt and irresponsible."

    The Gauteng provincial Commissioner of Police, Sharma Maharaj condemned the latest vigilante attack.

    The commissioner's spokesperson Director Henriette Bester said the perpetrators would be hunted and brought to book. She asked members of the public to give the police their co-operation.

    Source: The Johannesburg Star - click link to read full report.

    February 23 2001 at 07:25PM
    By Thembisile Makgalemele

    The people of Pimville, where three young men were murdered for breaking into a church and stealing chairs this week, are unrepentant and have threatened to resort to the "necklace" in dealing with criminals.

    The three, whose ages are estimated at between 17 and 22, were found dead on Wednesday in the middle of a soccer field in Pimville Zone 3, opposite the church where they had allegedly broken in and stolen 20 chairs.

    When residents were alerted at about 2am, they found the group of young people next to the railway line that separates Pimville and the Fred Clark informal settlement.

    The group, including the three dead youths, were allegedly carrying chairs belonging to the Paris Evangelical Presbyterian church.

    The community has been plagued by robberies, rapes and break-ins
    They were beaten up and stoned to death. Their naked bodies were found by the police the next day. Three others escaped across the railway line. A fourth member of the group, a girl, is in a critical condition in hospital.

    According to the church's caretaker, a woman who lives opposite the church heard noises coming from the church and blew a whistle to alert residents. They came running and pursued the suspects.

    The neighbourhood has been plagued by robberies, rapes and break-ins for some time. The frustrated residents convened a meeting on Monday and invited the police to attend, but they failed to arrive. The residents then decided on ways to defend themselves.

    Osiah Juwelele, a church elder, said: "This was the fourth theft in three months. We fix broken windows and doors all the time, and 64 chairs have been stolen."

    Superintendent Richard Luvhengo of the Soweto police confirmed that police were invited to Monday's meeting but they could not find the venue.

    Source: The Johannesburg Star - click link to read full report.

    "With our matches & tyres we shall liberate South Africa"
    * Winnie Mandela in one of her speeches during the apartheid era prior to 1994 *

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