Solidarity finally delivers anti-crime letters to Zuma

2010-03-09 14:07

WELL-KNOWN Western Cape victims of crime accompanied Solidarity

trade union to Parliament today to present about 136 000 anti-crime letters to

President Jacob Zuma.

The grandfather of the murdered baby Jordan, Vernon Norton, the

mother of murdered Nadine Jantjies, Francina Jantjies, and Megan Kaimowitz, who

also lost a daughter due to crime, helped Solidarity officials push ten

wheelbarrows containing the letters to the gates of Parliament outside Tuynhuys,

Zuma’s office.

They then joined the Solidarity delegation, led by deputy secretary

general Dirk Hermann, for a discussion with Zuma in Tuynhuys on crime in South


Solidarity recently launched a campaign in which ordinary South

Africans were asked to send messages to the president in which they asked for

the fight against crime to be the number one priority.

An earlier attempt by the union, on 16th of last month, to hand

over about 23 000 letters, failed when presidency officials refused to accept


Subsequently, Solidarity continued its campaign, and Zuma then

indicated he would personally take delivery of the letters.

Hermann said the public’s reaction to the campaign had taken

Solidarity totally by surprise.

“We initially aimed for 10 000 messages to the president, but

nobody expected it to exceed 100 000.

“This reaction shows how strongly South Africans feel about crime.

Crime affects everyone in South Africa,” Hermann said.

The public were asked to send letters via a website and those

without internet access could also send SMSs.

Zuma met the union representatives for some 20 minutes and

Kaimowitz said afterwards she was impressed by the president’s “open and

compassionate” manner.

His spokesman Vincent Magwenya said Zuma had been “moved and

appreciated the engagement” of the victims.

The presidency undertook to organise a follow-up meeting between

the union and either Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa or national police

commissioner Bheki Cele.

It would give the leaders of the police service the chance to hear

their suggestions on stepping up the fight against crime and incorporate these

into strategy, he said.

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