Communities urged to join fight against crime

2016-11-09 06:00
Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko attended the launch of Safety Month in KwaMaphumulo were the KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liason called on communities to join the fight against crime. Photo: Makhosandile Zulu

Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko attended the launch of Safety Month in KwaMaphumulo were the KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liason called on communities to join the fight against crime. Photo: Makhosandile Zulu

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KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety, and Liasion, Mxolisi Kaunda called on the province's communities to partner with his department, the SAPS, traditional leaders and other crime fighting structures in an effort to bring peace in their areas of residence.

Kaunda was speaking at the launch of the 2016 Safety Month at KwaMaphumulo last Thursday where he said the provincial government is working vigorously to eradicate faction fighting and taxi violence in the area.

The launch was attended by national Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko, iLembe District mayor Sduduzo Gumede, Maphumulo Mayor Matozi Khuzwayo-Dlamini and traditional leaders.

The MEC said KwaMaphumulo was chosen as a venue to launch Safety Month and the One Million Signatures Campaign Against Crime and Police Killings because the area has experienced its fair share of violent crimes.

Kaunda said his predecessor, the current KZN Premier Willies Mchunu, had worked flat out to bring about peace in the local taxi industry.

"Despite the Premier's efforts, two weeks ago, two people were killed just outside a tavern in the area. Later it was discovered that one of the deceased was part of the taxi industry," Kaunda said.

He said another taxi violence-related shooting incident that occurred in KwaMaphumulo left a college student wheelchair bound.

"In this very same area, last year during the December period, criminals forced a group of girls into a car, and after traveling a short distance, the girls were forced out of the car and were shot dead," Kaunda said.

He said at some point crime in the area spilled into local schools and affected teaching and learning.

"At Vukile [High School] we had individuals loitering outside the school premises so that they could sell drugs to school pupils," Kaunda said.

The MEC took taxi owners to task for acquiring the services of paid assassins which exacerbates taxi violence and hampers the growth of the entire industry.
"Taxi owners need to come to the decision that the use of paid assassins needs to end, and say to themselves that the taxi violence is enough," he said.

He commended the police for their work which resulted in the convictions of those suspected of taxi violence in the areas of KwaMaphumulo and KwaDukuza.

The MEC said it is concerning that the police regularly retrieve illegal assault rifles in the KwaMaphumulo area.

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