Tintswalo Village has been known to many residents as the most dangerous community in the small town of Acornhoek, South Africa. Criminals turned this village into their play ground. Many people have been killed, raped, and their houses broken into. Things got to so bad that the community members of Tintswalo Village decided to take matters into their hands by forming their own crime fighting group. This group is known to many residents as The Bros. “We are sick and tired of these useless policemen around here. Every time we called them for help they don’t come. But when they hear that there is an illegal shebeen operating around they come running because they want to take beers for themselves,” said the leader of The Bros, a gentleman simple known as Delta.
The Bros, formed two months ago, patrols the streets of Tintswalo at night. When they catch a criminal they take him to their special place in the bush and physically beat the living truth out of him or her.
At a community meeting called to report on their progress, a evidence of their method was in full display.
“It’s time we took control of our lives. We will clean out all these criminals in our village once and for all,” Delta said, while pointing a finger at a one of the men who seated next to him in the back of a white van. “Do you know this man?” he asked the crowd that formed a cycle around him. “Yes!” the people screamed out.
The man Delta was pointing out in crowd was no one other than a well-known man in the community, know by the name of Dibakwane.
“Dibakwane has been terrorising this village for a long time. He has been recruiting young men to work for him. He gives them the information of his victims and they go around and robbing these people,” Delta continued. “Today we caught one of his boys and he told us that he has been working for Dibakwane for a long time. We took this young man to Dibakwane’s house but Dibakwane denies knowing the boy. But strange enough we found a stolen microwave and many other items in his house. Stand up Dibakwane so that everyone can see you. What do you have to say for yourself?” Delta asked Dibakwane.
Dibakwane covered his face in shame and didn’t say anything to defend himself. His partner in crime was already arrested for being in possession of stolen goods and for confessing to breaking into a pastor’s home and stabbing him. The pastor is one of Dibakwane’s close friends. The arrested guy said that he was told by Dibakwane to go rob him and that Dibakwane was the one who provided him all the information he needed about the pastor and his home.
Crime in Tintswalo village is symptomatic of crime in South Africa. According to annual police crime statistics, 16, 889 cases of house robberies were reported in 2011. Every day, fifty people get murdered in South Africa. But that is not all. A study by Interpol, the international police agency, has revealed that South Africa leads the world in rapes. A woman is raped in South Africa every 17 seconds. But only one in thirty six of these rape cases gets reported and of those only 15 percent result in a conviction. With statistics like this, it is easy to understand why a community may take crime fighting into its own hands.
Dibakwane had been getting away with his evil deeds for a long time.
“What do you think we should do with him?” Delta asked the community members. “He should go! We don’t want him here anymore!” The community members screamed out in anger.
Since the police didn’t want to arrest Dibakwane because they were apparently still investigating the allegations made against him, The Bros took him to their special place in the bush. When they were done with him they took him home and gave him a week to get out of Tintswalo village.