‘Swift’ action by cops saves man

Kraaifontein Community Police Forum spokesman Gavin Riddles.

Gavin Riddles is still haunted by a gruesome mob justice scene he witnessed on Sunday March 5.

Mr Riddles, the Kraaifontein Community Police Forum’s spokesman, was delivering clothes to a needy family in Wallacedene when a group of people ran past him.

“ I wanted to see what was going on,” he said.

As Mr Riddles watched, the group grew in size and then started beating a man with a hammer.

“He was struggling to get away from them,” he said.

In a state of shock, Mr Riddles took pictures and called the police. Their swift response, he said, probably saved the man’s life.

Provincial police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said the man had been taken to hospital.

“The incident allegedly oc-
curred in Thakudi Street just after 9am,” he said. “The man came walking out of his girlfriend’s house. He was apparently mistaken for another man, who is suspected to have stolen from members in community. The man was grabbed by several unknown community members and badly assaulted.”

Captain Van Wyk said police were investigating a case of at-
tempted murder.

Mr Riddles said he would like to see the mob face justice but as yet no one has been arrested.

“I’m disappointed that the community would act with such force,” he said. “And it was a case of mistaken identity. I want those people to be brought to book.”

Mr Riddles said the mob had also destroyed the home their victim had come out of. A 56-year-old woman lived there with her disabled daughter.

“They even tried to burn it,” Mr Riddles said. “The owner of the house was in tears.”

Mr Riddles urged the community to rather call the police and not take the law into their own hands.

“I know the community is fed up about crime, but they must rather report the crimes,” he said. “These mob-justice cases are causing people to lose their lives.”

Tygerberg Hospital spokeswoman Laticia Pienaar said the man was awake but in a confused state. He is in a stable condition.