THE tragic story of a Zimbabwean man, who was killed by a heartless mob in South Africa, is a difficult one to swallow.
More than anything, the big lesson from the story is to never take part in mob attacks as they usually turn tragic.
An innocent man, who had a family to fend for, is dead because a rowdy crowd influenced others to murder him.
They even filmed their heartless attack.
Even if he was guilty of something, mob attacks should never be condoned.
Mob justice is illegal and members of the public are prohibited from taking the law into their own hands.
If you take the law into your hands, the victim can easily be killed and you are party to that murder.
You might claim you only slapped them once, or kicked them once, but that is what happens with mob justice.
Everyone just slaps the person once but at the end of the attack those slaps and blows and kicks are hundreds and one can easily lose their life.
All those who would have been part of the attack become murderers, worse than the victim who would have, maybe, committed a petty crime, in the majority of cases.
The mob can effect a citizen’s arrest and wait for the police to take the suspected criminal to the courts.
Jungle justice is not the way to make criminals pay.
In fact, it is barbaric, savage justice, which lowers everyone who takes part in it down to the levels of the criminals – if not lower than the robbers.
We have to grow up and accept that we live in a civilised world with a proper channel for justice.
If we are different from the criminals that we catch, let us show it by proving, even to those criminals, that we are law-abiding citizens.
That we respect and trust the law that we live under and that we submit to that law’s authority.
If we fail to do this, then we are savages, barbaric individuals who are worse than the criminals.
Let us show our maturity, even when we catch criminals, and prove to them what it means to abide by the law.
Otherwise, we are just like them, if not worse than them, when we take matters into our hands.
Elvis Nyathi, the man who was killed in South Africa, was not a criminal.
He worked very hard to feed his family.
The thugs who killed him did that simply because he had a different nationality to them.
That’s not the way to resolve disputes and, not even in the Stone Age, were such barbaric acts allowed to be part of the journey of human beings.
That it’s actually happening in the new millennium is a shame.