Justice for Amani

Mark Wiley, DA Member of the provincial legislature

In September 2015, 12-year-old Amani Pula was brutally raped and murdered in Masiphumelele, near Fish Hoek. His death led to a massive outpouring of rage in the township.

For weeks the area was paralysed by riots and mob justice that saw nearly a dozen people die, some by the horrendous method of necklacing – a petrol filled tyre put around the neck of a suspect and then set alight. Others were beaten, stabbed and stoned to death.

On Monday June 12, Mxolisi Rwangqa was sentenced to two life terms for both the rape and murder of Amani.

Rwangqa, a repeat offender who had previously served a sentence for rape, was also sentenced on several other charges, including another rape and for which he
will serve an additional
15 years.

What should be seen as a beacon of hope in this sorry and tragic affair was the dogged persistence and thoroughness of the SAPS investigating

Warrant Officer Van der Merwe of Ocean
View led the Pula investigation, Sergeant Smith, also from Ocean View, a second, un-
related, rape charge and Warrant Officer Cloete from Fish Hoek some theft charges.

They deserve our thanks and support.

Amani’s mother, supported by church colleagues and a few loyal friends, attended every day of the trial but nothing can bring back to life young Amani, who, by all accounts was an intelligent, talented and vibrant young man destined for greater things.

Few who witnessed his packed and emotional memorial service at the time could fail to be moved by the deep and positive impression Amani had left on a wide section of society.

The successful conclusion of this trial and the rightful upholding of the rule of law does rather beg a few questions however.

Who were those unfortunate victims that were killed by mob justice and what did it

And where were all those “concerned” citizens who have marched on the courts and driven repeated fund-raising drives for the legal defence?