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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Commission meets with Zandspruit community on mob justice

01 July 2021

The South African Human rights Commission hosted a virtual meeting on June 24 with stakeholders from Zandspruit regarding the mob justice attack in the community some weeks ago. Community members brought up their frustrations about living in Zandspruit, and being disregarded by the police and their response to criminal activity.

Community leader and CEO of Zandspruit Youth Development, Tebogo Mangena said promises are often made by government members but they are hardly fulfilled. “The majority of the issues in the community are influenced by the lack of service delivery. We don’t have infrastructure to shape young people, and we feel like we are not living in South Africa because no one cares about us. We have been abandoned for a long time.” Mangena and other community members shared their frustrations about the visibility or lack thereof from the police. Zandi Ndamase said police visibility and response needed to be enforced. “These dialogues will promote a peaceful existence in the community because the police turn a blind eye,” she shared.

Spokesperson for JMPD, Edna Mamonyane said she worked with the NPA to introduce school programmes on justice and policing. She said during engagements with young people, she is often shocked that so many of them believe that the death penalty is the only way to get justice in the country. She said, “We need to engage more with the youth. People often go with rumours about what is happening in the community, instead of waiting for confirmation. And this leads to innocent lives being lost. The community should not take the law into their hands.”

Harriet Buga from the legal office of the Human Rights Commission suggested that actual solutions be found that will produce tangible results.

Mangena suggested a satellite police station be set up in Zandspruit to raise visibility and make is easier to report crimes as they currently have to go to Honeydew Police Station. Ndamase said, “This is a burning issue. We all need to do something that will have a measurable outcome. We need to rescue the youth in the community.”

On May 19, nine people were set on fire by an angry mob in Zandspruit, allegedly for partaking in criminal activity. Six people accused of taking part in the incident appeared at the Roodepoort Magistrates’ Court on June 9.

Source: Roodepoort Record

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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