The Limpopo Provincial Government has welcomed the judgment against 13 members of the vigilante group, Boko Haram.
On Monday, members of the gang were sentenced by the Polokwane High Court for various crimes, including murder and contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act. Their sentences range from six to 10 years.
The so-called Boko Haram group had been terrorising the communities of Nkowankowa, Dan, Lusaka and other neighbouring villages outside Tzaneen town for over 10 years.
On 15 February, Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha, together with the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt General Nneke Ledwaba, visited the troubled area of Nkowankowa with the aim of restoring law and order.
They engaged with the affected communities and discussed how best to resolve the Boko Haram issue and restore normality.
At that time, the provincial government called on law enforcement agencies, faith-based organisations and the community to work together.
“We are excited that our intervention, working with the community, has yield positive results. This is a true reflection that our people have trust in the men in uniform.
“We would like to also take this opportunity to thank the men and women in blue for their dedication and hard work. Their recognition at the National Police Awards has in deed showed their commitment to dealing with criminal activities in the province of peace.
“We hope and pray that this will serve as a lesson to those whom are still committing acts of crime, as well as violence against women and children,” the provincial government said in a statement.
The provincial government urged community members to desist from criminal activities and report crime to the SAPS.
“Government will not engage or negotiate with criminals, thugs and gangsters hell bent on keeping communities living in fear of one another,” the provincial government said.