Eldorado Park community member Derleen James has made a plea to the public and police to assist after a man was beaten to death.
One of four suspects accused of killing a boy and then dumping his body under a bridge earlier this month was beaten to death in what she says is a case of mob justice.
Xolani Gwala received video footage of the incident which happened on Friday. He says Derleen is seen pleading with the community to stop beating the young man.
Speaking to Gwala on Wednesday morning, James says local police failed to react after she had told them that the alleged suspect was in danger of being targeted by a segment of the community.
James says she was forced to intervene when community members charged after the accused.
I asked Saps to follow me. I jumped into my car and as I came into the road where this boy was lying, everyone was beating him. All you could see was metal base ball bats and everyone was beating him.— Derleen James, Eldorado Park community activist
I ran into the crowd and I tried to stop them and i threw myself over his body just so they would stop hitting him because I know the community won't hit me and they wont hurt me.— Derleen James, Eldorado Park community activist
While I was laying there some of them came back and they came back with a pikitup, I felt him moving through my legs and they picked him up but he was already dead because I felt his pulse, he was already dead.— Derleen James, Eldorado Park community activist
They wanted to put him in the pikitup and take him where they had dumped the boy that died, Zunaid.— Derleen James, Eldorado Park community activist
Even when Saps came, they allowed kids of 6 and 7 to sit on the grass and watch and look at a dead body. When I sat on that body to me it felt like days on end.— Derleen James, Eldorado Park community activist
James says they are also searching for three missing children in the area.
She has accused the police of failing to address this and other crimes with the needed urgency, and insists that all the incidents are drug related.
They failed us hopelessly. We have got kids missing in Eldorado Park, we've got ten year old's, we find theme in the middle of the night covered with cockroaches because their parents are on drugs.... the situation is dire in this community .— Derleen James, community actovost
Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane says she has seen the footage.
Malobane says while local government has made attempts to assist the community there remains the challenge of alcohol and drug abuse contributing to the neglect of children.
Providing clarity on why the four alleged suspects were released, the MEC says there was not enough evidence to detain the group.
The only hope and option that I have decided to take is to invite leaders of the coloured communities into a session where we will have to come up with solutions ourselves.— Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety
We are going to investigate the issue further, but the suspects that were arrested initially were not linked to those murders and some of the crimes that they were accused of and hence they were released.— Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety
Actually the reason he was attacked is because he is one of the users, one of the boy who was involved in stealing from the community.— Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety
Listen to this disturbing eyewitness account and more: