Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday that law enforcement agencies and government departments need community support to defeat the scourge of crime.

“We need to unite and work together as a nation to put behind bars criminals who are turning our homes, streets and areas of work and worship into places we fear to visit and live in,” Zuma said during a visit to the crime-stricken community of Elsies River in Cape Town.

This was the second time in less than a month that Zuma visited the community. The president visited the community on May 18 following the tragic killing of a three-year-old girl, who was found dead and buried in a shallow grave. The girl was killed as a new spate of female killings rocked the nation.

Zuma told the residents that he undertook to return to Elsies River to look into the many challenges of crime and murder especially of children and how law enforcement authorities would improve their services to the community.

Zuma said his visit also formed part of government’s activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilize all sectors of society to care for and protect children.

The campaign was launched on Sunday in Cape Town, Western Cape and will close on June 4, in the OR Tambo District in Eastern Cape under the theme: “Let us all protect children to move South Africa forward”.

Zuma listened to the grievances and complaints from the residents about gangsterism which was out of hand in the community and the source of high levels of crime, including intimidation and fear in the community, violence against women and children; drug and alcohol abuse as well drug trafficking in schools.

Other challenges raised by the residents include alleged police corruption, broken criminal justice system as well as lack of protection of witnesses and dropping of serious cases against criminals.

Zuma pledged that the police will close down all illegal shebeens and increase police visibility in the area.

The police also needed “our support as government and community members to defeat the scourge”, Zuma said.

“Where the police go wrong we need to tell them. Where they are getting things right we also need to tell them so that they can be encouraged,” he said.

Zuma was accompanied by a number of cabinet ministers, including Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh