Police condemn unruly behaviour and destruction of property during court appearance of murder suspects in Piet Retief

NELSPRUIT - The police management in Mpumalanga have condemned in the strongest terms the unruly behaviour as well as acts of lawlessness displayed by a group of individuals who destroyed other people's properties, including state vehicles as well as looted some items from a store during a court appearance of five murder suspects at Piet Retief Magistrate's Court. The incident occurred outside court today, Monday, 19 April 2021.

Some members of the public attempted to remove a barb wire that was erected by police to prevent them from entering the court premises as well as ensuring that the court proceeds without any disruptions. Police managed to prevent them from removing the barb wire however these individuals then went on rampage and smashed windows of about three private vehicles, as well as windows of a business premise. They reportedly went to a certain liquor store where they looted beverages as well as damaged two police vehicles whilst another man is said to have been stabbed by this group of people.

Police management in the province also warn people to desist from such a behaviour like the one displayed outside court. The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Major General Thulani Phahla, has urged members of the public to remain disciplined in spite of concerns that they might have. "Proper channels should be used to address issues rather than resorting into violence. Destruction of property will not resolve matters but it is just purely displaying criminality and the law will take its course against such people, '' concluded General Phahla.

The court appearance of the five follows a shooting incident that occurred on Friday, 09 April 2021, where two brothers lost their lives at Pampoen farm in Dirkieskop. Their bail hearing started today and it was postponed to tomorrow, Tuesday, 20 April 2021, meanwhile the suspects were remanded in custody.

Source: South African Police Service