OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA ON CRIME IN SOUTH AFRICA

3829f96a01d88ca937847da15cff84b7Dear Mr President,

I am taking off all my professional hats and writing to you in desperation as a South African citizen deeply concerned about the levels of crime in our country.

I write as one of the countless citizens that have fallen victim to crime with the shadow of fear following our every step.

I write to you with a heavy heart for the many men, women and children whose lives are lost or destroyed by crime.

I write to you amidst the brazen war on our men and women in blue that are being sadly killed like dogs in our streets.

I implore you to imagine being an ordinary citizen without the benefit of a security detail and every measure protecting me from threats at my home, my workplace, on the street, in public spaces and in my car.

I urge you to imagine living in fear all the time. This is the environment that millions of citizens are living in.

When we raise our voices about the serious levels of crime we are accused by some of being alarmist and spreading panic across the country.

There is no doubt that the number of crimes reported in the media and on social media platforms have increased. Many incidents don’t make the media agenda at all.

You have to be blind to reality if you miss the desperation of citizens and the equal helplessness of law enforcement.

You recently attended and spoke at the South African Police Service (SAPS) National Commemoration Service at the Union Buildings.

You said that an attack on our police is an attack on the state.

Mr President, your assessment is correct, but talk is empty. What is being done?

Many members of the public have lost faith in the police and the criminal justice system.

Widespread corruption, poor leadership and bad service delivery has eaten away at the respect that these institutions should be able to demand.

You have employed poor leadership to key positions. The consequences are felt across the board.

The Marikana Massacre has done untold damage to the image of the police. The outcomes from the Farlam Commission was damning for the SAPS. We still have to see accountability. Many have blood on their hands and they must be brought to book without delay.

There has been no real justice for the families left destitute at the loss of breadwinners and loved ones.

Precious time and resources are spent to keep disgraced officials in their positions, purely just staving off the inevitable.

How do you expect the public to continue respecting these institutions?

How do you expect police officers to feel proud to wear the badge when their lives mean so little, reduced to lip service in an eloquent speech and another name on the commemoration wall?

The lives of our citizens count for even less it seems. Some 47 South Africans are murdered on average every day.

Mr President, I hope you will be proud of the many communities and individuals that are standing up and refusing to yield to the onslaught of crime.

Once again your citizens have to take responsibility for a problem that the state should be tackling with all means at its disposal.

The rot is so widespread, the stink overwhelming.

Desperate times need desperate solutions.

Even the most persistent and active individual can’t even hope to win a battle we are losing by virtue of a complete lack of political will to DO something about crime.

Mr President, you are the one person that can turn this around.

Stop catering to the politically ambitious. In fact, leave politics out of key appointments and deploy people who can do the job and act beyond reproach.

Stop patting mediocrity, uselessness and corruption on the back, sending their servants on their way with a golden handshake.

Listen to your people who are the terrorised and persecuted.

Prescribe to these internationally recognised leadership principles….

Model the way – set an example by adhering to and advancing the rights and responsibilities contained in our Constitution. Show zero tolerance to those who seek to destroy it.

Inspire a shared vision – Mr President you can make a difference. Believe it and make others believe in the vision of a safe and prosperous South Africa.

Challenge the process – Hold those who you put in place to lead their respective departments to account. If they don’t perform, they are detrimental to change and stand in the way of moving the country forward. Why should the entire country suffer one fool?

Enable others to act – Make it possible for others to make a difference. Create an environment where citizens can be heard and their ideas implemented.

Encourage the heart – Reward those who you have enabled to achieve our shared vision. Too many activists and hard workers in and out of government are being persecuted instead of celebrated. The perception that you favour the corrupt is not only detrimental to you, but ultimately impacts negatively on everyone else.

Mr President, I hope that I have been able to adequately convey my concern over the problem we have with crime in this country.

The police must strengthen the partnerships with ordinary citizens, civil society, business and anti-crime activists. Now is the time!

I know that tackling crime means tackling many other problems our country faces.

I am forever hopeful that we can overcome these challenges, but your leadership is critical to achieving this.

I am still a proud citizen of South Africa and will do anything in my power to make a difference. I only ask that the first citizen does the same.

Mr President, will you stand up for us?

YUSUF ABRAMJEE

abramjee.com

Emergency plan to stop cop killings

3730690723Parliament – President Jacob Zuma has told government it must find ways to stop the killing of policemen and measures to this effect would be put in place urgently, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko told Parliament in the wake of the Dobsonville shooting of two officers.

“The President has directed we shall investigate all possible ways of defeating this scourge,” Nhleko told the National Assembly.

“We shall engage with society to share with us its wisdom as we seek to bring an end to police killings.”

He said there was one member of the SA Police Service for every 360 people in the country, meaning that the loss of a single one left a large gap that took a long time to fill.

“The 60 policemen killed so far this year would have been responsible for the safety of approximately 21,480 people.”

The slain members were “not easily replaceable” given the time it took to train a policeman.

“The President has directed that a plan be developed and implemented immediately to stem the killings. We have taken heed of this instruction and have put in place measures under the auspices of the police safety strategy. This plan, the National Technical Response Plan, needs to be immediately implemented,” Nhleko added.

He said it would include on site probes by the police of the sites where their colleagues have been killed to study the circumstances that led to their death. It would also insure that standing orders regarding safety were rigorously implemented.

On Wednesday, two police officers were killed in the Dobsonville area of Soweto. One officer died on the scene and another in hospital later after suspects fired at them following a car chase.

Lenasia car theft and hijacking ‘mastermind’ arrested

32409_risingsunlenasiaOn arrival, police found a car that had been reported hijacked in Lenasia in the early hours of Monday…

A 37-year-old man who is alleged to be a ‘Car Theft Mastermind’ was arrested after a hijacked car was found at his residence on Thursday, August 27 in Lenasia’s Extension 4.

The man was arrested by the Soweto Tactical Response Team (TRT) following a tipoff.

On arrival, police found a car that had been reported hijacked in Lenasia in the early hours of Monday, August 24.

The 37-year-old appeared briefly at the Lenasia Magistrates’ Court on Monday, August 31 where the case was postponed for further investigation.

“We would like to thank those that work with the police in fighting crime,” said Lenasia SAPS spokesperson, Captain Hector Netshivodza.

The Lenasia community is urged to work hand in hand with the police to fight and reduce crime in the area.

Gangs use upmarket cars to fool cops

Five suspected members of a crowbar gang were arrested by the mountain men in Zandvlei.

Five suspected members of a crowbar gang were arrested by the mountain men in Zandvlei.

Cape Town – Crowbar burglars in expensive cars have turned their attention to Pinelands and Goodwood, striking at least nine times in the past month.

The robbers drive top-of-the-range cars which blend in with the suburbs they target.

In Pinelands, a gang broke into four homes within hours in just one evening.

In Goodwood crowbar gang activities have become so bad that some residents have threatened to deal with burglars themselves.

The thieves’ getaway cars have created confusion, making it difficult for security companies and neighbourhood watches to spot the gangs.

It is believed several crowbar gangs are operating around Cape Town.

Using crowbars and brute force, they smash their way into homes and sweep for valuables in minutes.

In two of the most recent incidents, two Eversdal homes were burgled within 20 minutes on Thursday.

Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk confirmed that in Pinelands four homes were burgled on Wednesday evening.

He appealed to residents with information about the incidents to contact police.

Van Wyk confirmed one of several crowbar burglaries that were recently carried out in Pinelands.

He said on Monday a home in Tygerdal, Goodwood, was broken into and items including a plasma screen television and a home theatre system, stolen.

“A sharp object was used to gain entry. The front door was forced open.”

This week Nazeem Israel, of the Goodwood community police forum, said two crowbar break-ins were reported on Tuesday.

At least five break-ins were reported in August.

“We know they are well organised. They’re using brand new vehicles. They know the area so well it’s unbelievable. They choose homes near the freeways for a quick get away.”

The gangs knock at the door or ring the doorbell to check if residents are at home, and Israel said people who were at home should not ignore a knock at their front door. If people answer the door, the burglars pretend to be lost and needing directions.

The burglars then leave to try their luck elsewhere.

Dirk van der Berg, of the security company Goodwood Armed Patrols, said crowbar burglaries had started in the area in November, but numbers had soared in recent weeks.

Van Der Berg said residents had started WhatsApp groups to keep track of incidents and send out warnings.

The burglars’ approach constantly changed.

In winter, when it got darker earlier, burglars tended to strike in the evenings. Rain provided further cover.

“I’ve warned (the WhatsApp) groups that it’s going to change to the day now as it gets warmer,” Van Der Berg said.

In the warmer months the thieves appeared to prefer operating between 9am and noon.

“They hit just after peak hour and before schools come out.”

Van Der Berg said the gangs were sophisticated when it came to transport. “They change vehicles all the time and mostly use cloned number plates. We’ve seen them drive BMWs and Mercedes Benzes.”

A resident who did not want to be identified for fear of being targeted by burglars, said his home had been robbed and neighbours were fed up.

“Vigilantism is not the way to tackle this problem, but the frustration of residents can be well appreciated,” he said.

Saturday Argus

New stats show surge in violent deaths in GP

100JOHANNESBURG – Newly released statistics from Gauteng’s 10 state mortuaries show there’s been a sharp increase in violent deaths. Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has revealed in a written response to the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s that violent deaths from gunshots, stab wounds and assault account for 32 percent of deaths in the province over the past two years

Road fatalities account for 26 percent of the deaths.

The DA’s Jack Bloom says these figures deeply concerning.

“Dead bodies don’t lie and it shows people in Gauteng are increasingly dying because of increasing violence in our society and that’s primarily because of crime.”

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

EWN