The 2017/2018 crime statistics recently released show that of the 10 police stations with the highest murder rates in the country, seven are in the Western Cape. All serve densely packed communities in Cape Town. Mfuleni, No 10 on the list with 157 murders, is where much of the action of Simone Haysom’s "true-crime story" is set. Her account of the necklacing of young miscreant Rowan du Preez in 2012, and the subsequent investigation and trial, is a disturbing glimpse into the convoluted working of the justice system. It is a tale of intertwined legal processes. Du Preez’s murder and trial took place as the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry probed the state of policing in the area. One of the four people accused of his horrible death was Angy Peter, an activist who had collected testimonies from community members to present at the inquiry. She had also, before the murder, accused a crime intelligence official of being a fence. The state’s case leaned heavily on the words supposedly ...

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