Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Simon Mpembe has warned the community against taking the law into their own hands.
He was reacting to an incident in Mecklenburg where police arrested 33 suspects on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property and arson after the houses of two suspects, who were released on bail after the murder of a 92-year-old man, were set alight.
The suspects, Willy Mametja and Billy Masete, were arrested in connection with the murder of Klaas Thekoane who was found dead in his shack last month.
The suspects appeared in the Mecklenburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and were both released on R1 000 bail.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Ronel Otto yesterday said members of the community of Ga-Selela village, apparently unhappy with the outcome, set the houses of the two suspects alight on Saturday. A third house, belonging to a relative of the suspects, was also set alight yesterday morning.
She confirmed that nobody had been injured during the incidents but confirmed there had been extensive damage to the properties.
Police patrols in the area have been intensified, with members of the Public Order Policing also being deployed.
More arrests are expected. Those suspects already arrested are due to appear in the Mecklenburg Magistrate’s Court today.
Lt-Gen Mpembe said by taking the law into their own hands, the suspects had become criminals and such conduct would not be tolerated in the province.