Programme launched

2016-10-06 06:00
Christopher Malgas, a correctional officer from Pollsmoor prison, talking to learners from Bulumko High School during crime awarness programme, at Thusong Centre, Khayelitsha, on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni maseko

Christopher Malgas, a correctional officer from Pollsmoor prison, talking to learners from Bulumko High School during crime awarness programme, at Thusong Centre, Khayelitsha, on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni maseko

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Bulumko High School has been in the receiving end of gang-fights, gangsterism and class disruptions since the beginning of the year.

But all that is to change now, if government efforts to quell such acts are anything to go by.

Government departments have joined forces to raise awareness about crime to learners of the school at the Thusong Centre on Tuesday.

The crime prevention programme was organised by the City Of Cape Town’s Social Development, and it was attended by officials from the Western Cape Education Department, Metro Police, South African Police Services members from Lingelethu Police Station and the provincial office, including the Department of Correctional Service from Pollsmoor Prison.

Christopher Malgas, a correctional officer told the learners about the implications of being involved in gangsterism and other criminal activities.

He said life in prison is tough and that some inmates end up joining gang groups and vow to kill for those groups.

“Joining the gangs means you are prepared to die for them. They lie to you, using the secret code of their language, but we understand it. When you are not at school during school vacations you end-up running lose, because you have nothing constructive to do. You must know the consequences of joining the gangs,” Malgas said.

Malgas has been rehabilitating children who are in conflict with the law for 40 years.

Siyabulela Madolo, a teacher from the school, said the programme was important for the learners as it made them aware of the dangers of joining the gangs.

“Most of the learners who attended are not involved in gangs. I am happy for the initiative. I hope this can assist in curbing the incidents where learners get involved in such activities. The school was disrupted several times by gang fights. We had to send learners home several times after the fights started. It has been tough, but the situation is back to normal now,” Madolo said.

Zanethemba Ntsukumbili, a Grade 8 learner, applauded the programme.

“It was very important for me. I have learnt a lot of things. Three years ago, I had joined a gang, but now I have changed my mind after I watched the video about the things that happen in prison.

I do not want to go there. I was introduced by my friend on it.

We fight about girls most of the time with our rivals. Sometimes we spot one of our rivals when we are in a party and then we attack him.

I am happy for the information I received here,” Ntsukumbili said.

Sinovuyo Dyubhele, also a Grade 8 learner from the school, said gangsterism caused a big disruption at the school.

“I am not part of gangs and I think it is wrong to be part of it. I am focusing on my studies and what I want to become in future.

We were disrupted by gang fights in the school in a way that we could not even write examinations,” Dyubhele said.

Xoliswa Caso, a Grade 9 learner from the school, said gangs mostly fight over small things.

“They fight about girls and they want to show us that they can protect us and that they have power.

Sometimes when a girl got robbed by a boy from another section, boys from her section would go and attack him and he also mobilises his gangs and the fight starts.

It affects us, because we get traumatised when we see them stabbing each other,” Caso said.

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