A schoolboy who allegedly robbed a woman on a train with a toy gun, has been filmed getting on his moer by commuters.
In the video that was shared on Facebook, the terrified boy is seen sitting on the floor of the train, his legs pulled up and hiding his face in his arms, while crying and begging for mercy.
However, a legal expert has warned that mense posting videos of minors in compromising positions on social media are breaking the law and could be arrested.
A commuter can be heard saying: “Hulle het die vrou gegunpoint, en dink ons gaan niks maak nie.”
The boy denies this, repeatedly saying: “It wasn’t me.”
Towards the end of the video, a commuter starts kicking and hitting the boy again, saying: “You haven’t learned your lesson, you are still lying.”
The incident happened on Friday at the Eerste River train station, and the video was posted by Eerste River resident Imran Murray who wrote: “Well, got on Eerste River Station this morning and saw this schoolkid gunpoint a lady, had to help out, shame.”
The video was viewed more than 18 000 times and shared 562 times by last night.
Eerste River CPF Chairperson, Henry Beerwinkel, says the video should serve as a warning for would-be criminals.
“We do not condone mob justice, but it is bound to happen when laaities try their luck in a community that is sick of being victimised,” Beerwinkel tells the Daily Voice.
He said the alleged female victim declined to lay charges, as her bag was returned.
While most Facebook commentators agreed the teen deserved a good hiding, some people like Shannon Sage Segels felt it was wrong for commuters to take the law into their own hands.
She said: “No Need To Beat Him Up .. Why Didn’t They Just Phone The Cops.” (sic)
Imran Murray replied: “Tell me kwick if it was your mother what would you have done? And it wasn’t just him alone they were a few guys, they ran away…people is tired of this k** robbing and killing what if he had to kill that poor lady?” (sic)
Legal eagle Jacques Louw says the teenage boy was as much a victim as the woman he allegedly tried to rob.
“Attempted robbery with a firearm is a crime, but in the same instance the people who assaulted the boy also committed a crime and a video posted [of a minor] to social media is also Crimen Injuria [wilful injury to someone’s dignity].”
Louw adds: “There is crime at both ends. The school child is therefore also a victim in this.”
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk says: “This office can confirm no record of a charge for this incident. We do however ask that any of the witnesses come forward and bring this matter to the police for an official investigation.”