JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- South African police are investigating separate incidents of mob justice attacks that have left at least 11 people dead and properties burnt in Sondela informal settlement in Rustenburg, North West Province.
The bodies of the deceased were discovered at various locations within the community in the past week.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone told Xinhua on Friday those murdered were accused of being involved in criminal activities within the community.
"We are still investigating including determining the motive of the incidents, but we suspect that victims were attacked after being accused of committing crimes," he said.
Police have made six arrests in connection with the Sondela killings. While some made their court appearance on Friday, others accused will be in court next Monday.
Criminal justice experts blamed community's lack of confidence in the criminal justice system for escalating mob justice attacks.
Shadrack Gutto, a professor at University of South Africa, told Xinhua: "Part of the problem is that people call it mob justice and I call mob injustice because it is illegal. People must understand that you cannot carry out violence and call it mob justice."
Gutto said frustrated communities believe that taking the law into their own hands is their only solution to resolving crime. "People do it because the criminal justice system is weak. People are frustrated, they don't know what to do with crime. Instead of reporting a crime to police, they identify the person they think commit it."
Over 840 killings recorded by the police in 2017 were associated with mob justice in South Africa.