‘Ditch gangs, up­hold morals’

Pupils fur­nished will skills on how to deal with peer pres­sure amid chal­lenge of gang­ster­ism in Mat­wabeng

The New Age (Gauteng) - - FREE STATE NEWS - THABO THULO prov­inces@the­newage.co.za

WITH gang vi­o­lence be­com­ing a chal­lenge that both the po­lice and civic or­gan­i­sa­tions are try­ing to com­bat, about 700 pupils from high schools in Mat­wabeng were re­cently given skills on how to deal with peer pres­sure.

Un­der the theme, Mov­ing from Vic­tim to Vic­tory, pupils were dis­cour­aged from gang­ster­ism and in­spired to up­hold good morals.

The event took place on Wed­nes­day at the EE Monese Hall where var­i­ous speak­ers ad­dressed the pupils.

The aim of the event was to teach pupils about self-worth from an early age, to dis­cour­age them from join­ing gangs and warn them against the use of al­co­hol and drugs.

“We try to dis­cour­age you pupils from par­tic­i­pat­ing in gangs and to fo­cus on your books. This event was held just be­cause we love you.

“Be­lieve me, to say that you are the next speaker. You should stay away from drugs and al­co­hol as it could ruin your fu­ture,” one of the speak­ers said.

“Al­co­hol abuse gives rise to nu­mer­ous neg­a­tive so­cial im­pacts such as ab­sen­teeism at school, aca­demic fail­ure and en­gag­ing in sex­ual ac­tiv­i­ties that could re­sult in the un­wanted preg­nan­cies and sex­u­aly trans­mit­ted dis­eases.”

A feud be­tween dif­fer­ent gang groups in the area last week led to the meet­ing be­ing or­gan­ised.

The gangs call them­selves Ibola, ARV, Soweto’s and Born to Kill.

When ad­dress­ing pupils, ex-pris­oner Tshediso Sei­thati said pupils must look af­ter one an­other and if they see their fel­low pupils be­ing abused, phys­i­cally or sex­u­ally, they must not just pass by but try to as­sist the ones who need help.

Pupils were also given an op­por­tu­nity to ex­press their tal­ents, like pantsula jive and singing tra­di­tional songs.

“Pupils should stay away from gang­ster­ism as it will put their lives in danger.

Don’t join such groups any­more, get­ting out will not be easy, rather stay away from those gangs be­cause you will be ar­rested as they com­mit a lot of crimes,” Sgt John­son Lisenyane said.

PICTURE: THABO THULO

BE AWARE: 700 pupils from high schools heard var­i­ous speak­ers out­line on how best to deal with peer pres­sure as po­lice and civil or­gan­i­sa­tions cam­paign to halt gang vi­o­lence.

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