_: KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance, Ms Ina Cronjé has convened a successful Edendale Moral Reconstruction Indaba where different uMgungundlovu District stakeholders unanimously committed to the renewal of morality in the district.
On behalf of the Provincial Government, MEC Cronjé who is the District Champion, convened this indaba as a response to the recent spate of gruesome incidents where two senior citizens were raped (and one of whom was murdered) in two separate incidents in the district.
MEC Cronjé rallied amongst stakeholders, the men’s forum, religious leaders, business people, non-governmental organisations, political leadership, law enforcement agencies and members of community at Edendale Lay Ecumenical Centre in Pietermaritzburg, to condemn these incidents and other social ills that signal the decay of moral fibre.
Addressing delegates, District Mayor, Mr Yusuf Bhamjee, said the incidents were a conspicuous indication that there moral compass had gone amiss and there was a need to convene the community dialogue to encourage local residents to join hands with government to face the moral degeneration scourge head-on.
He said: “This multi-sectoral initiative will assist the district to deal with the problem pro-actively. The district will adopt this multilateral approach until we bring back respect for human rights and dignity of our people,” he said.
Delegates at the indaba reached a consensus that there is a moral crisis in the district. They concurred that there was an urgent need to clamp down on drug abuse in the area, rape, general crime, while addressing the challenges relating to unemployment, service delivery, social relief, sports and recreation.
Strong allegations also surfaced that drug trafficking problem was rife such that drug-lords were working hand-in-gloves with some rogue police officials in the area. This was stifling attempts to report drug trafficking in the area. Some government departments were also criticised for failure to participate on programmes like Sukuma Sakhe which was hampering service delivery and social relief.
Addressing delegates and giving the way forward after listening attentively to the reports from different commissions at the indaba, MEC Cronjé did not mince her words.
“It is sad that we are coming together today because we are faced with really disturbing pictures in our society, we are deeply concerned at the growing reports of the old women who continue to be raped and killed or abused in our district. Some people are laying down their own rules and lawlessness prevails. Others have developed a tendency to shy away if it does not affect them directly. They are quick to say ‘it is not my granny or my child’.
Now it is high time that we work together to fight against this disrespect that exists for women and other vulnerable fellow human beings.
“Other citizens think that it is acceptable for them to do anything wrong and it is unfortunate and very disturbing to hear that some people including some authorities are not even condemning these appalling conducts just because they, themselves, are part-and-parcel of the violation of these values when they are convinced that nobody sees them. Some people have totally lost a sense of Ubuntu,” said MEC Cronjé.
MEC Cronjé appealed to all the representatives to join hands and ensure that this moral regeneration effort aimed at making explicit appeals to revive morality, values and ethics of society. The indaba gave commissions a week to meet, then to come up with an action plan which will state clearly what each sector will do in line with moral development by the end of August 2012.
“Let us all strive for the society where people adhere to moral regeneration and positive values. Let us all work towards the restoration of the sense of Ubuntu to our societies so that people can conduct themselves responsibly towards each other,” concluded MEC Cronjé.