One of the 5 suspects arrested for the murder of Thoriso Themane father is a retired police officer

One of the 5 suspects arrested for the murder of Thoriso Themane father is a retired police officer

The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Khehla John Sitole has strongly condemned what appeared be an act of vigilantism which resulted in the gruesome attack and subsequent death of a man in Polokwane, Limpopo.

On Saturday, 23 February 2019, an unknown number of young people allegedly assaulted the 28-year-old man at Flora Park in Polokwane. The man was taken to hospital for medical treatment but he later succumbed to his injuries.

Upon hearing this, General Sitole immediately instructed the province to mobilise the 72-Hour Activation Plan citing that we, meaning the police and society at large, should not tolerate anyone performing acts that serve only to undermine the authority of the State.

Once again the effect of the 72 hour Activation Plan was felt as a joint multidisciplinary SAPS team worked around the clock and arrested five suspects yesterday afternoon.

General Sitole has commended the police of Limpopo for their speedy response highlighting that this kind of response is a message to those who exercise lawlessness will be arrested and made to face the full brunt of the law.

To compound the ruthlessness of the attack on the man, not only are the suspects involved between the ages of 15 and 16 years old, but the incident was also filmed and posted on social media.

The social media post also reflected one of the young suspect’s claiming to be a son of a senior policeman and that the police could do nothing about what he had done. The same suspect is now among those behind bars and he is the son of a retired SAPS Warrant Officer. His arrest is clearly indicative that nobody can claim to be above the law and expect to get away with heinous deeds.

Any act of vigilantism is as much criminal as the action of the person accused of committing a crime.

The Community Policing Strategy that was launched last year together with the Community in Blue Concept advocates active citizenry where the participation of communities in the fight against crime becomes every individual’s responsibility.

The National Commissioner has called on communities to work with the police rather than taking the law into their own hands.  “Vigilantism simply cannot be accepted as an approach to dealing with crime and criminals”, added General Sitole.

The arrested five grade nine and ten learners will appear in the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 28 February 2019 on a charge of murder.