'Crime is not normal'

2010-05-16 14:26

Johannesburg - Three-hundred-and-forty-seven towns would take part in a national protest against crime on May 19, the Solidarity Movement said on Sunday.

In a statement, the movement - made up by Solidarity, AfriForum and Helping Hand - claimed this would be the largest crime protest yet in the country.

"Three hundred and seven towns are finalising the last arrangements for the largest protest action against crime ever in South Africa."

Memorandums would be handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in both small towns and cities, from the Western Cape to the north.

Children will participate

In rural areas, several businesses would close their doors and various schools would take part in some of the marches or learners would wear red, Dirk Hermann, deputy general of Solidarity said.

"It is expected that thousands of South Africans across South Africa will wear red on the day."

Hermann added that the country should never allow crime to become a normal part of society.

"In order to demonstrate that it is abnormal, we need to protest.

"However, we won’t just protest ... we also want to use the action to call on communities to get involved in community safety initiatives in conjunction with the SAPS."

Victims would be involved

Hermann believed SA would be "a safer place" after May 19 if the protest was successful.

He added that in several towns victims of crime would hand over the memorandums themselves.

"In Louis Trichardt, the memorandum will be handed over by Andr and Petro van den Bergh, who were shot during a robbery in their house while they were sleeping, and in Midvaal the memorandum will be handed over by Charl van der Westhuizen, whose uncle and aunt were brutally murdered," he said.

"At the Utrecht police station, a memorandum will be handed over by Hilda Els and her son ... Hilda’s husband was followed, hijacked and brutally murdered."