Masiphumelele violence just beginning - resident

Tammy Petersen, News24

Cape Town - The violence which unfolded in Masiphumelele, outside Ocean View, on Tuesday was "just the shorts before the movie".

That's one of the comments made by residents on the township’s Facebook page after a man was killed in what is believed to be mob justice.

Residents protested and set a police vehicle alight after news of a 14-year-old boy's rape and murder spread through the community.

"Police discovered the body of a 27-year-old man not far from the burnt vehicle," said police spokesperson Constable Noloyiso Rwexana.

A second rape, this time of a young woman, is understood to have taken place on the Masiphumelele soccer field that same morning, said local community police forum chairperson Kathy Cronje.

On the Masiphumelele Facebook page, residents posted congratulatory messages to those who took part in the attack.

"Why do we have to live in fear of people who were born just yesterday?" one user posted.

"We are tired of what is happening in Masi. No more. We are tired of holding meetings about this."

Another local slammed parents who protected the criminals.

"These dogs are protecting their sons while we suffer. We must chuck them out."

'People have had enough'

Public order police were monitoring the area.

"It is still very tense and I am concerned about what could happen later," Cronje said, as talk spread of further action by residents.

"People are fed up with poor police reaction and have had enough. We are however appealing to community leaders to help calm the situation."

At a public meeting held last week by Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu, Masiphumelele residents said the area was plagued by poor policing.

One fed-up resident said police often failed to respond to complaints, while another called the station "useless".

"Yes, they are useless," another local shouted.

Yet another resident told News24 the precinct was "just too big", insisting police had their hands full in dealing with complaints from Ocean View, Masiphumelele and Kommetjie.

A satellite police station is now being planned for the township.

The ANC in the Western Cape condemned the crimes, and subsequent vigilantism in a statement. It urged people to report any information they had to the police.

ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs said: "No one or group may take the law into their own hands. They must report suspects to SAPS and let an independent court deal with them."