Home News ‘Gang’ suspects to be released

‘Gang’ suspects to be released

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Both victims were robbed of their shoes and clothes and fatally stabbed while they were walking home.

Tshepiso Thompson

MANY of the suspected gang members who were arrested in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Kimberley Boys’ High pupil Tshepiso Thompson, will be released as they could not be positively linked to the crime.

Fifteen youths were arrested in connection with Tshepiso’s murder on the weekend as well as the murder of 17-year-old Emmanuel Secondary School pupil Boniface Ndlovu last month.

Both victims were robbed of their shoes and clothes and fatally stabbed while they were walking home.

The police have meanwhile indicated that a video clip that has gone viral on social media, where community members were filmed assaulting a person in an apparent case of mob justice, had not taken place in Kimberley.

In the shocking act of mob justice, the person was seen lying on the ground, while he was kicked, hit with golf sticks and spades, while rocks and boulders were also thrown at him. A tyre was also seen lying on the ground next to him.

Community members said that the incident had taken place in Taung, where the person died as a result of the savage attack.

Police spokesperson Captain Bashoabile Kale said that no further arrests had been made yet in connection with the murders of Tshepiso and Boniface.

Kale said that the eight girls and seven boys, who are between the ages of 14 and 19 years old, who were arrested on Sunday, were taken in for questioning.

“Those that could be connected to the murders are expected to appear in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday (today), while those who cannot be linked to any crime will be released.”

Kale indicated that the police were not aware of any acts of vigilantism that had taken place in Kimberley recently.

“The video that is circulating is an old video and it was not filmed in Kimberley.”

There were reports of two shanties that were set alight in Riemvasmaak on Monday night, that were believed to be related to revenge attacks following the murders of the two high school pupils.

“The owners of the shacks have not come forward to lodge a case for investigation,” said Kale.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba urged the community not to take the law into their own hands.

“Members of the public must rather report any criminal activity to the police for investigation,” said Ramatseba.

He added that investigations into the murders were continuing.

“Regarding the case in question, where alleged Destruction Boyz gang members murdered a youth in Galeshewe on the weekend, police made arrests with the assistance of community members. Investigations are continuing and a team of members comprising of Crime Intelligence, Public Order Police, Tactical Response Teams, K9 and Visible Policing is working around the clock in order to ensure that all suspects are brought to book. Any person with information is kindly requested to contact the station commander of Galeshewe SAPS, Brigadier Diakanyo, at 082 332 4464. All information will be treated as confidential.”

In response to calls from the ANC Youth League in the region that the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, should step down due to escalating crime and gang activity, Ramatseba stated that Shivuri was appointed to uphold and enforce the law and also to investigate crime and protect and secure inhabitants and their property.

“Community involvement in the fight against criminality is therefore critical, hence the role of community policing forums.”

Ramatseba indicated that Shivuri had engaged with communities over the need for community crime-fighting organisations and neighbourhood watch structures to be aligned with community policing forums.

“With the new Community in Blue concept, patrollers will be trained in line with community policing objectives with the assistance of the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison.”

He stated that the patrollers would work closely with the police in identified areas in the Province.