MEC for Community Safety, Willies Mchunu, has urged the provincial youth to be on the forefront of all initiatives to fight crime, warning that KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) was a dangerous place engulfed by high levels of the taxi violence, faction fights and the molestation of women and children.
Addressing the Youth Crime Summit and officially launching the KZN Youth Desk Against Crime, on Friday, 5 June 2015, Mchunu said he was still shocked at the recent murders of school a deputy principal and a pupil in the full view of primary school pupils in Nquthu. “I am still appalled and saddened by this incident where gunmen stormed a primary school classroom, shot and killed a teacher in full view of his pupils.
“The most tragic part is that during the shooting, two pupils were shot. One died upon arrival at the hospital and the other was injured. While the police reacted swiftly and arrested three suspects, the brazenness of the crime is what shocked me the most.
“The fact that these gunmen barged into a classroom and shot a teacher (Vusi Ntombela) in full view of his pupils shows that a lot still needs to be done to fight crime and to put an end to this gung-ho culture,” Mchunu told the youth leaders. He urged the youth to be part of the multi-faceted efforts to fight against the unacceptable levels of crime.
“By placing the youth at the forefront in the fight against crime and working together, we must continue to close the space for criminals and mount tough action against criminals,” he said. He noted that while major strides had been made in the province to fight crime, the scourge remained a threat due to the youth’s continuous involvement in crime, as perpetrators and victims. “It is, therefore, critical that any crime prevention strategy that is developed and implemented should clearly involve the role of the youth.
“Indeed, in all efforts and initiatives youth remain both the delicate and strategic asset.
Delicate because they are prone and susceptible to all sort of influences both good and bad. Strategic asset because they constitute our future, equally they are also very influential and energetic,” he added. Mchunu told delegates that any crime prevention strategy that is developed and implemented should involve the youth. He explained during Apartheid, it was difficult to convey information and the laws were discriminatory.
However, he said, in today’s democracy, the youth were beset with social media networks and sophisticated cellular phones with aanced technology, which they should be using to fight crime. They were also laws today that allowed the youth to protest peacefully and form their own safety structures that will fight crime within the ambit of the law.
“Crime has no colour or age. It just consumes everybody. Today, I am making the clarion call to all the youth to come forward and participate in building a g nation and realising our goal of a crime free KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. I say to you, take your place in our campaigns work collectively with us and become leaders that help rebuild our society.
The success or failure of building a united front against crime and ensuring that the people of KwaZulu-Natal live in a safe and secure environment rest on all our shoulders. You (the youth) can be the changers of this society,” said Mchunu. Among others, the objective of the Youth Desk is to craft the Provincial Youth Crime Prevention Strategy and to work with all sectors of the society to reduce high levels of crime in the province.
Source : South African Government