About ninety pupils from Sizimisele and Harry Gwala high schools in Khayelitsha underwent an intensive life skills course facilitated by the Safer South Africa Foundation.
The foundation aims to mobilise under-resourced communities to build awareness and ability to work together in the fight against crime.
Safer South Africa Foundation provincial co-ordinator, Nomonde Scott, said they aim to foster a better understanding of community safety issues and improve relationships between the community and the law enforcement agencies.
“We invite all law enforcement agents and stakeholders and take them out to schools where they talk to children,” said Ms Scott.
Recently Ms Scott and Harare SAPS spokesman Captain Siyabule Vukubi accompanied youngsters to Voorbrug Correctional Services where the children “got tough talk from prisoners”, said Ms Scott..
“It was eye opening for many of them because prisoners were brutally honest about conditions in jail. They asked the learners not to commit crime because it was tough in there,” she said.
Captain Vukubi described the visit as a “character builder” because he could see pupils were really frightened by the stories they heard.
“After the pep talk with prisoners I think they will think twice before getting involved in gangs and criminal activities,” said Captain Vukubi.
Ms Scott herself is no stranger to prison life, having served her own jail term after she fell foul of the law while she was a prosecutor.
“But I bounced back,” she said.
While a parolee she registered for her LLB degree and graduated in 2008 and later registered for LLM degree in environmental law and her thesis was on a climate change.
She has published a book titled Look Before You Leap” an autobiography intended to discourage people from getting involved in crime.
Ms Scott said the programme is well enjoyed at schools but the restrictions imposed by the pandemic meant they had had to reduce their activities.
“As soon things normalise we will reach out to more schools,” said Ms Scott.