Chiefs take a firm stand against crime

Community members listenS to speakers at an anti-crime meeting organised by Amadumisa Diverse United Kingdom in Crossroads.

The Amadumisa Diverse United Kingdom is calling on all traditional leaders, communities, and the police to intensify the battle against crime.

At an emotional meeting on Saturday November 18, at Mfesane in Crossroads, the traditional custodians called for unity to fight crime.

Different community structures, government departments and police attended the meeting.

The traditional leaders urged everyone to get back to basics so crime could be defeated. They said they had noted with concern a rise in incidents of crime during this time of the year.

Chief Mthetho Msuthwana said an immediate solution was needed to fight crime and called for unity in families.

He also urged parents to talk to their children to deter them from getting involved in crime. “We decided to stand up and speak out against crime. We have seen old people being raped, killed and people robbed and mugged.

“It is about time that everyone stands up and fights crime. This is the time of the year when things normally get out of hand. As families and the community, let us get back to basics,” he said.

Chief Msuthwana urged everyone to be part of their programme which involved schools around Nyanga and Crossroads. Through the programme, the chiefs engage pupils on crime and its consequences.

Chief Zanomthetho Gebana said the increase in crime was worrying.

He called on the communities to work with the police because crime should be everybody’s business. “It is now the festive season and we will see a lot of crime. Most people will not enjoy Christmas because of crime. It is about time that we all stand up and say it is enough,” he said.

Nyanga station commander Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata commended the initiative as the correct approach to crime prevention.

He commended the chiefs for taking a leading role.

“The gathering was very important. It is a fact that we cannot defeat crime if we do not work together,” he said.

He highlighted drugs and alcohol as the main challenge and said the problem started at schools. “These kids are violent, they rape and kill.

“Things have fallen apart. We need such gatherings and active citizens,” he said.

Nyanga Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson Buyisile Makasi has called on traditional leaders to be at the forefront of urging fathers to be part of their families if crime is to be defeated. He said broken families and absent fathers are at the core of the crime problem. “Chiefs must engage fathers to be part of their families. We have a problem of absent fathers. They (chiefs) must also engage them to be part of gatherings of this note. In a meeting you will find mothers while fathers are in the shebeens,” he said.

Mr Makasi urged all traditional leaders and other stakeholders not to endorse any new licences for shebeens. He said as a CPF they have taken a decision to not support only liquor licence applications.Correctional Services Department spokesman Mkhanyisi Spendu thanked the chiefs at the meeting for their initiative.

Mr Spendu urged the community to accept ex-offenders in their areas. He said some of the reasons the ex-offenders reverted to crime was that they were not accepted by their own communities. The Amadumisa signed a memorandum of understanding with Activate, an arts NPO created to present cross-disciplinary projects that aim to activate people around the urgent issues of our time.