NATIONAL NEWS - Justice in South Africa could only be dispensed by its courts, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Wednesday.
"The NPA is appalled at the continued spate of so-called 'mob justice' killings that are taking place in Khayelitsha," spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said.
The NPA was worried over the phenomenon of people taking the law into their own hands without letting the courts rule on the allegations levelled against someone.
"This is not justice. It is crime," Mhaga said in a statement.
He was referring to a recent rise in attacks on suspected criminals in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
Over the weekend an alleged thief who was out on bail was necklaced.
Necklacing is putting a tyre around a person's neck or chest, dousing it with petrol and setting it alight. It was used during the apartheid era to kill people thought to be collaborating with the then government.
Another man was necklaced in Khayelitsha in March; his feet had been bound with rope. A third was found dead with a tyre and concrete drain cover on his chest. He was on his back and blood was coming out of his mouth and ears. His feet were also bound with rope.
In nearby Macassar, three suspected thieves were kidnapped and killed in March. Their beaten bodies were later found in some sand dunes.
Police believed these were victims of mob justice. "...referring to the criminal conduct by members of the community as 'justice' flies in the face of common sense," Mhaga said.
This undermined the efforts to ensure proper administration of justice.
"As the NPA we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who take the law into their own hands, and we will ensure that they pay for their actions."
He said these attacks highlighted the need for education on how the criminal justice system worked.
"People lack a basic understanding of how the court system works. They will tell you that if they take suspects to the police they will be released on bail. To them bail is tantamount to an acquittal."