Umshwathi residents in march against drugs and crime

2016-05-09 11:30
Induna Zwelempi Msomi reads the memorandum which was presented to New Hannover Magistrate Court.

Induna Zwelempi Msomi reads the memorandum which was presented to New Hannover Magistrate Court. (SIBUSISO MKHITHI )

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Pietermaritzburg - Appalled by the scourge of whoonga and the increase of substance abuse-related crime in the area, Umshwathi residents marched to the New Hanover Magistrate’s Court to bemoan how far “too lenient” the court had been with offenders.

Residents from Swayimane wards 11 and 12 said they are living in fear as the problem of whoonga “is getting out of hand”.

Induna Zwelempi Msomi, who led the march on Friday, said house breakings, rapes, robbing of elderly people, and the theft of goats and cables had became rife in the area.

“This is a crisis. People have lost their lives because of this. When we try and discipline the culprits, we get arrested.

“If we hand them over to the police, the court just lets them go. These addicts are also aggressive. They attack us when we try to reprimand them,” he said.

Msomi said it had become difficult to send children alone to the shops.

“We call upon the justice system to play its role.”

Msomi also complained that the court always started late, which led to many cases not being heard.

Virusha Jamuna, who accepted the memorandum on behalf of the court, said most of the issues in the memorandum deal directly with the policing of the area, and called for the residents to raise them with police.

“In respect of bail, we are guided by the Constitution which stipulates that no one is guilty until proven guilty by a court of law.

“It is not easy to oppose bail for that kind of crime because most of these suspects were caught in possession of a small amount of drugs or for house breaking,” she said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  march  |  drugs

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