Dressed in the attire of various churches in the greater Lwandle, women parishioners gathered in prayer against the social ills hampering the area.
The women started the event with a prayer service at Rhabe Church on Saturday afternoon (24 August), before embarking on a peaceful march through the streets of the township. The gathering was held under the banner of Oomama baka Zwelonke.
The group proceeded to Lwandle Police Station, where they sang hymns and prayed outside the building. Some of the women carried placards with words such as “stop rape” and “stop drugs”.
They walked the streets of Lwandle singing and praying at various places, including a well-known tavern in the area.
During her address to all gathered, Martha Emmette, president of Oomama baka Zwelonke denounced the selling of drugs to youths, who then become involved in criminal activities. “We are saying stop the selling of drugs. If you don’t stop, we will come to you directly,” she warned drug dealers.
“The situation is very bad in Lwandle and the surrounding areas. People are robbed and killed daily. This area was never like this; now things are out of hand.”
Emmette told City Vision the organisation decided to stand up and voice their concerns as its members are unhappy about the current situation in the area.
“I don’t know what has gone wrong. We decided to stand up and pray. I believe we will see the difference after this gathering,” she related.
Nophumlani Macingwane, a parishioner at a local Methodist church, said the women trust the work of the Creator. “Even through we face troubles, at the end we will succeed. As parents we are crying as our children are caught in the grips of drugs and crime. We all should pray for our children, some of whom are being used by older people to commit crimes,” she said.
“As parents we must speak up and not keep quiet when our children are being abused. Let’s have these conversations with our children to find out how they are doing.”