The Officer Commanding (OC), senior Superintendent Counsel Moyo told The Monitor that they are worried over the increase in the number of cases of mob justice.
This comes days after an angry mob at Gaborone West Phase 4 assaulted a young man in his 20s after he was suspected to have snatched someone’s wallet.
“It appears after they heard the news members of the public attacked the young man, beat him up and he sustained injuries that left him hospitalised. After two days the young man passed on at Princess Marina Hospital (PMH),” Moyo said.
He said in another similar incident on the night of December 1, members of the public at Tlotlo Hotel, beat another young man aged 23, suspected to have been pickpocketing.
“Similarly the young man was attacked by members of the public, beat him up until he was rescued by the police. Police rushed the suspect to PMH where he was hospitalised for days and after a few days the young man passed on,” he said.
The police boss said last weekend another young man sustained injuries and is still hospitalised at PMH after the public beat him up at Tsolamosese for suspected house breaking.
“Members of the public followed the suspects’ footprints and allegedly met two young men along the roadside and suspected they might be the ones they were looking for.
The public chased after them and one of the young men was unfortunate as they got hold of him, beat him up and left him badly injured. The police came and took him to PMH where he is currently recuperating,” Moyo said.
far as the country’s security is concerned, because no one has the right to take the law into their own hands.
He said this act is increasing though the country’s laws clearly state that everyone is innocent until proven guilty by the courts.
“Assaulting an individual despite allegations of theft is against the law. Members of the public should know that the law permits them to arrest suspects, report the matter to the police and not to take law into their hands,” Moyo said.
He said that it worries them as the police that some people have granted themselves powers to do as they wished.
“We do not know if people do so out of being ignorant or they know it is against the law.
Investigating such cases as well as arresting suspects is usually not easy and they mostly remain unresolved because witnesses don’t come forward to inform the police of what transpired or what they have witnessed,” Moyo said.
In the past, members of the public have threatened to take the law into their own hands across social media platforms, because they were not pleased with accused persons being granted bail easily by the courts.
At some point videos of people assaulting suspects circulated across these platforms with messages that the courts had failed the public hence the need to protect themselves.
Asked if this might be the reason why people are taking the law into their hands, Moyo said he does not think so because in most incidents the community normally brings the wrong person to justice.
Moyo cautioned the public against being involved in mob justice incidents, as that is a crime too.