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Mbekweni community up in arms over killings

Mbekweni community members are up in arms over a recent surge of violence and criminality, including at least five people killed in “jungle justice” incidents over the past two weeks, some burnt to death.

The Mbekweni Community Police Forum held an imbizo against crime on Tuesday evening 28 February at the Mbekweni Community Hall.

Representatives of the departments of Justice, Correctional Services, the Drakenstein Municipality, the Department of Community Safety, the Winelands Cluster Commander and Station Commander of Mbekweni were present to address the concerns of the community.

According to Sergeant Nceba Vanqa, the police have taken the people’s grievances on board. “The community’s main concern was service delivery from the police, and they asked for more visible patrols in the area as well as quick responses to attending complaints,” he said.

He added the community was also concerned about the withdrawal of cases from the courts.

Correctional Services informed the audience about Parole Board procedures and about amnesty, in which President Cyril Ramaphosa granted special remission of sentences to prisoners and those out on parole, excluding those who committed sexual offences. However, a witness told Paarl Post police had “side-stepped” pertinent questions around the recent spikes in killings in Mbekweni.

Paarl Post had previously reported on an unidentified man being burnt to death by a lynch mob on Thursday 6 February.

An official told police he saw about 25 unknown people assaulting the man. Another witness saw the group place a tyre around the deceased’s neck after assaulting him and setting him alight. The victim died on the scene.

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