Byline: Andani Matumba

02 March 2022

Residents and the parents of the arrested suspects of eMbalenhle, Ex17,  took to the streets to protest outside eMbalenhle Police Station for the release of the Five suspects who were arrested on 01 March 2022.

Four males and one female were arrested following the mob justice which took place on 21 December 2021, in Ex 17 and leading to the murder of a male person who is alleged to have committed theft.

The residents allege that the aim of their protest is to secure the release of the suspects by the police failure which the police will be forced to arrest all who took part in the mob justice.

“The police are arresting our children and leaving the real criminals roaming the street”,  said Ms Lindiwe Zwane, a concerned community member.

The successful arrest was made by the eMbalenhle police team after some of the eyewitnesses came forward.

According to Constable Busi Mthethwa, some of the witnesses came forth and provided the police with credible information which led to the said arrest.

Mthethwa further stated that the investigation is still underway and an identity parade has not taken place at this stage.

“As the police and according to the Criminal Procedure Act, we have to secure the appearance of the suspects before the magistrates within 48 hours following their arrest.

Therefore not much can be achieved within this period”, added Mthwetha.

The suspects made their first appearance at  Evander Magistrate Court on Wednesday, 2 March 2022, and were charged with murder and kidnapping.

After their protest at eMbalenhle SAPS, the community members proceeded to Evander Magistrate Court and no disruptions occurred.

The suspects elected to be represented by Legal Aid South Africa in the said criminal proceedings. 

The state opposed bail the bail application and requested a postponement for the profiling of the suspects.

The suspects are now remanded in custody and the case was postponed to 09 March 2022.

After the court proceedings, those community members and the parents who were present in court were filled with worry because some of the suspects are students and will be missing out on their education.

Therefore they made a call to the community for a meeting to be convened at  Ex 17 at the taxi rank in zone 5, eMbalenhle, to discuss the case.

In her closing statement, Mthethwa condemns the actions of mob justice.

“We urge the community not to take the law into their own hands because when it is time to take responsibility and to be held accountable, the rest of the community slides to the back”, pleads Mthethwa.

According to the police, there is a possibility of more arrests.

“We call upon those who have more information on the incident to come forward.”