Residents speak out on crime

Nofungile Sizila.

The residents of Nyanga responded angrily to news that their area is still the country’s murder capital.

The crime statistics, revealed by Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula last week, showed that 281 murders were reported in Nyanga between April 2016 and March 2017.

This is an increase of two murders from 279 in the 2015/2016 figures.

On Thursday October 26, Vukani took to the streets to speak to Nyanga residents about the statistics.

Many people blamed unemployment and the government for their troubles.

Some even went as far as threatening to take the law into their own hands.

Resident Nofungile Sizila accused the government of failing parents.

She said there are just too many rights for young people who cannot be disciplined properly .

She also blamed the government for not arresting druglords. “This government took our rights as parents away. There is no way that these children would understand that life is important because they have never been beaten,” she argued. “Drugs are all over the place. Young people start using drugs as young as 12. The government needs to deal with druglords. These people are killing the nation, but the government is still lenient with them. Do away with drugs and let us discipline our own children and see the results.”

Christopher Mafika feels that Nyanga will only change when all the youth have jobs.

He said unemployment is rife and young people have nothing to do besides stand on street corners.

“That alone is a recipe for crime. You cannot have young people roaming around with nothing to do. When you don’t provide jobs, what do you expect people to do? Surely they are bound to rob and do all other sorts of crime. The problem lies there. That is why some even kill. So all in all, the murder rate will always be high here,” he said.

Nobukhosibakhe Mbhinda suggested that the government give powers to neighbourhood watches to arrest and maybe even discipline criminals.

“During the apartheid years, people were not killed like today. We championed our areas then because we would beat the hell out of criminals. But today criminals are having it nice. Why don’t we get back to the golden days? We are still going to die and the killers will be left behind for as long as the government is soft on criminals,” she said.

But Dumisani Qwabe, a member of Nyanga Community Police Forum, differed. He said Nyanga was changing, but admitted that the murder rate remained stubbornly high.

He said they have found the solution by interacting with schools in the area.

“We are now speaking with one voice with schools in crime fighting. And I am of the belief that there has been huge improvement when it comes to crime. These schools are helping us together with the councillor. We are all involved in crime fighting.

“The one problem area that is now a headache is the N2 off ramp. There is a lot of killings that are happening there. But I must assure you that this year is the last with this problem,” he said adamantly.