By Everson Luhanga
A group of men in Alexandra have vowed to hunt down the criminals vandalising Johannesburg’s infrastructure.
In the past few days, areas in Sandton, Wynberg and Alexandra have experienced traffic congestion due to several traffic lights that were cut and cables that were removed.
This has angered a group of men calling themselves the Taliban who have vowed to deal with the vandals. The group of patrollers has no association with the militant group which governs Afghanistan.
Group member Tumelo Masite said the vandals have caused so much pain to motorists in the area. “People sit in traffic for extended periods of time. This is unacceptable and we will take this seriously.”
Tumelo said the men are getting information as to who might be the mastermind of this criminality. “Once we find out and identify them, we get them, and if they are lucky, we might hand them over to the police.
“Our intention is very clear: we want to handle this matter in a kasi way as most of the victims of this kind of criminality are people from the kasi who work across the bridge in Sandton.”
Tumelo said the criminals must be people who are known within the community. He pleaded with community members to help them look for the perpetrators. “They must be apprehended and be given a ‘proper’ treatment in community justice.” Although he did not define “community justice”, it tends to involve violence, sometimes leading to death.
A resident in Alexandra said most traffic lights on streets heading to Sandton have been stripped. “One day, that bridge will collapse because criminals are now targeting the reinforcing cables,” he said.
ActionSA President Herman Mashaba said criminals found vandalising state infrastructure should be charged with high treason, with a maximum of 25 years in jail without parole.
He urged the men calling themselves the Taliban to refrain from taking the law into their own hands. “Although people have lost confidence in the policing and justice system, they should not resort to community justice.
“It is important to use democratic powers to remove a criminal government,” said Mashaba.
He said the police are doing very little to protect the state infrastructure and the budget allocated to the Gauteng Crime Wardens, famously known as amapanyapanya, should have strengthened the police officers in the province. But instead, crime is skyrocketing.
Pictured above: Streets lights vandalised and cables taken.
Image source: Suppled