By Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety:
I condemn in the strongest possible terms the calls made yesterday by Andili Lili and the Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement to take the law into their own hands and commit murder. I am now calling on the Western Cape ANC to discipline one of their senior members for these undemocratic and inflammatory calls for violence.
Andili Lili, Ses’khona leader and ANC Provincial Executive Committee member, is threatening people’s right to life and is violating the freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa in his calls to incite violence and cause harm.
Mr Lili’s remarks yesterday are not only disgusting and unbefitting of any self-identified or elected leader but are extremely dangerous and media reports included that he said publicly outside of court, that:
- People “must kill rapists and robbers in our communities”;
- “once these poor people find someone committing a crime, they must kill that person immediately“; and
- People must ensure they kill in a brutal manner.
Further reports this morning that residents of Imizamo Yethu are already threatening to take the law into their own hands, is extremely worrying considering Lili’s apparent criminal comments.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility but taking the law into your own hands does not make our communities safer. No matter what the circumstances or allegations, we cannot allow our communities to catch, prosecute, convict and deal a death sentence to alleged criminals.
Vigilantism is a crime and it will not be tolerated by law enforcement agencies. Anyone involved in any incident of vigilante killings becomes a criminal themselves.
This is not the first time Ses’khona and its leadership has called on people to break the law. They have previously encouraged land invasions and the looting of street vendors as well as incited violence and attacks on the police.
This incitement of violence and anarchy cannot be allowed in our democracy.
I call on Ses’khona’s leadership to retract these statements and to take responsibility for their actions, incitements as well as the actions of their members. I call on the ANC’s Provincial Leadership to discipline the irresponsible Andili Lili.
As part of my oversight mandate over policing in the province I will today request the Acting Provincial Police Commissioner, Major General Thembisile Patekile, to officially take note of the comments made by Mr Lili. Should any member of the public be harmed as a result of these calls, Mr Lili should be held responsible.
It is important to remember that all crimes have to be reported to the nearest police station for investigation. Communities should partner with the police and law enforcement authorities to help create safer environments.
Where communities feel they do not receive the necessary safety service delivery, they should report it to either:
- The Neighbourhood Watch or Community Policing Forum for escalation;
- The Office of the Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman;
- The Department of Community Safety by lodging a complaint at 021 483 4332 or via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
It is clear from the past violence and destruction committed by protestors lead by Ses’khona, together with the repeated calls inciting violence and criminality, that the organisation has no interest in abiding by the law or ensuring the safety of our communities.