Langa police and the Community Police Forum (CPF) encouraged primary and high school pupils to prioritise their education and to play sport as this would keep them united and away from crime.
Speaking at the Langa High School play grounds during the Human Rights Day event to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre, police said sport could play a positive role in the lives of young people and numerous sports clubs were invited to the event.
Pupils dressed in sports attire were given the opportunity to run and walk through the streets of Langa with their parents to call others to join them in the day of sporting activities.
Police said they chose to celebrate the day through sport because it could be a catalyst for change.
The young people gathered on the grounds were also addressed by local councillors who encouraged them to unite. “We have chosen to celebrate the Human Rights Day by putting young people together in one place. These are different sport clubs. We decided on a fun walk day kind of a thing so they can showcase their talents. But the most important thing is to encourage them to unite against crime. We have seen emerging gangsterism, we want to nip that in the bud. That is why we invited sport clubs mostly,” said Langa police spokeswoman Captain Nomdumiso Paul.
She also encouraged the youngsters to learn from the actions of many struggle heroes. He said the past and present struggle leaders played an important role and should be a good example for the youngsters to follow.
Captain Paul thanked the CPF and the entire community for making the day possible. “This shows commitment from us all. The day is a true testimony that people are willing to fight crime. This should be a good starting point to fight crime. We should all say no to gangsterism in the area of Langa. We hope the young people who are with us today will take this to the classrooms and to the streets,” she said.
The CPF chairperson Ayanda Moyi said the youth are the future of the country so it was good to unite and speak to them. He said the celebrations were an eye-opener to many young people. “After we have noticed that young people were now starting to fight through gangs, we decided on this event. This has been our aim since last year. The fun walk and the race played a major role because these children are karatekas, soccer players, tennis players, boxers and from other sport codes. These are people that could help in crime fighting. We are truly honoured and proud to have them here in one place,” he said.
He said he hoped that those who gathered at the venue had learnt a lot from the seniors.
Ward 52 councillor Samkelo John said he was excited that such a crime awareness inititaive happened in Langa. Although he was not 100 percent happy, he said there was hope for Langa. “I would have been very happy if this field was packed to capacity by mostly young people from all areas of Langa. It seems those who are here are from one area. But this is encouraging. We should make this more often. The killing of young people by young people should stop. There has been a lot of those recently,” he said.
Parents who joined the young people to run and walk around Langa said they were excited to be part of their children’s future.