By Kaya 959 News
Community Policing Forums and patrollers have been urged to act within the ambit of the law.
Acting minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said they have seen reports of some armed community members brandishing firearms and/or dangerous weapons publicly in apparent retaliation against perpetrators of the public violence.
“Government would like to caution the public that although persons are entitled to protect their property and lives, as long as this is done in a manner that everyone’s right to life is protected as provided for in our Constitution; and can only be infringed in extremely limited circumstances, in order to, inter alia, protect the life or bodily integrity of the defender,” she said.
Ntshavheni said the government did not want a situation where members of the public are at loggerheads with the law after such a noble effort.
CPFs patrol the streets
Since last week, CPFs and residents have taken to patrolling their streets and communities in the wake of looting and riots in parts of Gauteng and in KwaZulu-Natal.
Speaking during visits to both provinces, SAPS Minister, Bheki Cele, expressed appreciation to the community structures, who are working within the law to ensure community safety.
“It is through these working relations between police members, that will go a long way in squeezing out the space for criminality that is at the heart of these unrests.
“Police have responded to threats of buildings being targeted, including the Ford manufacturing plant in Mamelodi, it is through the quick responses of the SAPS, that many of these buildings have been left untouched and looting has been prevented,” he said.
Racial tensions in Phoenix
Cele condemned those who have taken the law into their own hands.
The minister headed to Phoenix in Durban, where he received a report on the latest violence and looting that has engulfed the community.
Cele noted that racial tensions have marred the unrest and are characterising the community’s efforts to protect their neighbourhood from looting.
Fifteen people have been killed in the neighbourhood, since the start of the violence last week.
Cele says now that the SANDF is on the ground to assist the police while they restore law and order, he has expressed his confidence that safety in this community will be improved.
“While the situation is not ideal at all and there are ugly scenes playing out on the streets of Phoenix, the racial direction that these riots are taking must be arrested speedily,” he said.