Tambo’s tough crime fighters need help

2018-07-19 06:00
Some of the members of Tambo Village Neighbourhood Watch.PHOTO: SIMAMKELE MBANGA

Some of the members of Tambo Village Neighbourhood Watch.PHOTO: SIMAMKELE MBANGA

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Members of the Tambo Village neighbourhood Watch are taking matters into their own hands, so to speak, in trying to protect the community.

The group is made up of 65 elderly members of the community who say that they have had enough of crime and violence and feel that the government is not doing as much as they should.

As members of the community, they feel it is their duty to protect those who are unable to protect themselves but they can only do so much as they have no financial support­.

Victor Ntlokolo, chairperson of the neighbourhood watch, says lack of uniform and equipment is making their job harder.

“There’s nothing that sets us apart from the criminals and the ordinary people and that can put us in a vulnerable place,” says Ntlokolo.

The group is pleading with the government for financial support and donations because, at the moment, they are using canes during patrols to fight criminals, they say.

Owen Plaaitjies, co-ordinator of the group says: “The only way we know if someone is in trouble is if they scream and then we come out and try to help, but it’s hard because some of us live far from the railway station, where most of the crime happens. We don’t even have walkie-talkies to alert each other of trouble in a certain area.”

They say after catching a criminal, they send them to the police station and unlike the police, they go the extra mile: If someone gets robbed, they are able to get the person’s belongings back ... The police do not.

Tembela Mtshiselwa, a member of the community: “This group of people are really helpful and we are very grateful for what they are doing. They are really making a difference in people’s lives and I wish they could continue.”

Ever since the group started about five years ago, there has been some decrease in crime levels and they are looking towards recruiting the youth.

“We would like the government to work closely with us and take us more seriously.

“We would also like to be included in the police budget and have some type of insurance because we are old and what will happen when we die in the hands of these criminals?

“There is nothing we will leave behind for our families,” added Plaaitjies.

For any assistance in the effort to quell crime in the area, people can contact Victor Ntlokolo on 084 585 8359.

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