As crime and substance abuse continue to increase in the Nyanga area, the Nyanga Community Police Forum (CPF) in partnership with Abathunywa, Greater Philippi and Samora Machel Ministers Fraternals (MMFs) held a prayer meeting at the Zolani Centre to denounce the scourge.
On Friday August 10, community members and representatives from various churches converged on the centre to say “enough is enough”.
Nyanga CPF secretary, Reverend Dumisani Qwebe, said it was about time that people stood up against the scourge of crime in Nyanga and KTC.
He added that the role of the pastors went beyond the pulpit and that they should also be involved in addressing community problems and challenges. He urged them to roll up their sleeves and fight crime.
“We should not only be known when we preach at our churches or funerals. Let us be hands-on in our communities. Now is about time we get up and say enough is enough.
“God gave us a mandate to tackle social ills. It is our responsibility,” he told Vukani.
Reverend Qwebe also called on residents to stop buying stolen goods.”We have been saying crime does not pay and we are still saying that. As pastors and reverends we are now in the process of visiting the scrap metal shops around Nyanga to tell them to stop buying things from young people.
“We are also in the process of visiting poor homes and see how we can help them. We want to be directly involved in our communities. But today we are here to say enough is enough,” he said. He said he believed the church and the community have a significant role to play in the fight against crime because police were not able to do so alone.
Reverend Zamuxolo Mfihlo said they were praying that young people would come to their senses and that they planned to host more prayer gatherings in future.
A Zwelitsha resident who identified himself only as Zola, however, said the time for prayers was over and that people needed to stand up and take the law into their own hands if they wanted an end to crime.
“As residents we are frustrated with high crime. We have done everything (we can) to fight crime but we are still crying out loud. The truth is we will never win crime because police are doing their work but the courts are doing the opposite,” he said.
But Nyanga police spokesperson, Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi, commended the CPF and church fraternities, saying that police do not believe they are in the fight against crime alone.
She appealed to people to report crime and work with police.