’Come, let’s build Gugs’

Residents and police collaborated in the fight against crime in Gugulethu.

An event aimed at devising a spiritual intervention strategy against crime was held in Gugulethu last week.

Among those invited were Gugulethu SAPS who conceded that while spirituality played an important role in recovering from crime, rebuilding communities ravaged by crime, and resorting peace, police were not adequately equipped to draw on this resource.

Colonel Alroy Van Der Berg said police were relieved to have a spiritual intervention strategy against crime.

“The change needs to start with men. They need to know that there is no God in their lives. Their lives are without God. But with this, from now we can only grow. We have been ready to serve but now we will also tackle the spiritual side,” he said.

Different stakeholders who prayed and spoke, raised a number of questions about why there was so much crime in Gugulethu.

Community Policing Forum chairperson Ntandazo Gcinga said while a lack of police visibility was often blamed, an important factor which was often overlooked was the need to strengthen families. “This prayer is about change. The battle is huge. But in order to see change, let’s see cleanliness in the streets of Gugulethu. Let us all rebuild and restore Gugulethu,” he said.

But stakeholders were clear that their main goal was to reduce crimes and that “where there was God, change was imminent”.

Apostle Nokwanda Mkongi said she believed that Gugulethu would be saved from crime.

“In the Bible there was at the floor of a valley, bones that were very dry, but God spoke to them and he put flesh on them.

“We are here to call on the Lord to speak to the dry bones. We call on God to put flesh on them. I prophesied and decree that Gugulethu will be restored. Let us speak with one accord and Gugulethu will be saved. This province will be saved and Africa will be saved,” she prophesied.

She said the area was wounded and needed prayer, and lashed out at murderers whom she accused of having no conscience. “The police are trying by all means to fight crimes and ills but it looks like they are doing nothing. The government has intervened with different programmes but nothing is happening. That tells us that we need divine intervention. The murderers have no conscience,” she said.

She added that one of the main strategic objectives of their anti-crime campaign was to create unity in Gugulethu and to encourage trust in the community.

Provincial Police Youth Desk deputy chairperson Michael Mfengu agreed that the area was faced with a lot of troubles – and blamed every resident of the area for allowing crime to continue.

He said there are people and organisations that are using the youths to further their criminal agendas instead of allowing them to grow and lead. He also encouraged the youths to understand that education is key.

Young poet Lebo Mokwela delivered a poem on Gugulethu and its challenges.
Police and reverends at the prayer event in Gugulethu.