Time for zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach to crime and crim­i­nals

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Le­sego Sech­aba Mo­gotsi

THUGS, crim­i­nals and druglo­rds have iden­ti­fied a lack of sol­i­dar­ity in our com­mu­ni­ties and they are ex­ploit­ing this gap to pur­sue their crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties with­out any fear.

The jus­tice sys­tem is also dis­mally fail­ing our peo­ple, and I there­fore don’t blame peo­ple when they say crim­i­nals and thugs seem to be en­joy­ing more pro­tec­tion from the con­sti­tu­tion than many law-abid­ing cit­i­zens.

All min­is­ters in the Crime Pre­ven­tion and Jus­tice Clus­ter must act swiftly to avoid the dis­as­trous con­se­quences that may re­sult from com­mu­ni­ties tak­ing the law into their own hands.

It is crit­i­cal for com­mu­ni­ties to have full con­fi­dence in our jus­tice sys­tem and its abil­ity to pun­ish crim­i­nals.

It ap­pears that some of the lead­ers of po­lit­i­cal par­ties inside and out­side Par­lia­ment are ben­e­fi­cia­ries of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

This ex­plains why it is rare for some of them to openly sup­port anti-thugs and anti-crim­i­nals cam­paigns in our com­mu­ni­ties.

We need to build strong sol­i­dar­ity in our com­mu­ni­ties across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum so that we can all speak in one voice against crim­i­nals and thugs.

It is ben­e­fi­cial for com­mu­ni­ties to stand to­gether and de­clare their com­mu­ni­ties drugs-free and crime-free zones.

Those in our com­mu­ni­ties, who run reg­is­tered tav­erns and other en­ter­tain­ment out­lets, such as night­clubs, must also take re­spon­si­bil­ity by en­sur­ing that their busi­nesses are not used as dis­tri­bu­tion out­lets for drugs and il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Com­mu­ni­ties must de­mand more vis­i­ble polic­ing in vil­lages, town­ships, sub­urbs, towns and cities; and pa­trols must be in­ten­si­fied.

The jus­tice sys­tem, on the other hand, must also en­sure that all crim­i­nals and thugs are pros­e­cuted and sen­tenced for a long term in jail.

It is about time we all adopt zero tol­er­ance to any crim­i­nal and vi­o­lent ac­tiv­i­ties. The jus­tice sys­tem must en­sure that crim­i­nals, thugs, gang­sters and druglo­rds are not re­leased on pa­role; they must serve their en­tire sen­tences in prison, even if they join gospel choirs while be­hind bars.

Com­mu­ni­ties and po­lit­i­cal par­ties must play a more proac­tive role by en­sur­ing that crim­i­nals and thugs are not elected as com­mu­nity and po­lit­i­cal party lead­ers.

All lead­ers who have pend­ing crim­i­nal cases and are sub­ject to in­ves­ti­ga­tion by law en­force­ment agen­cies for se­ri­ous crimes, in­clud­ing cor­rup­tion, should not be elected to any lead­er­ship po­si­tions at any level.

Let them first deal with their crim­i­nal cases be­fore stand­ing for elec­tion.

I am aware that we live in a con­tam­i­nated po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment and there is al­ways a pos­si­bil­ity of some cases be­ing man­u­fac­tured to weaken and dis­lodge op­po­nents for po­lit­i­cal gains.

It is time we all join hands and stand to­gether in com­mu­ni­ties to fight against crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

All po­lit­i­cal par­ties and com­mu­nity, stu­dent, youth, busi­ness and church lead­ers at com­mu­nity level must es­tab­lish an all-in­clu­sive anti-crime fo­rum.

All our com­mu­ni­ties must unite in their fight against crime and de­clare all our com­mu­ni­ties drugs-free and crime­free zones – the sooner the bet­ter.

Unite in the fight against crime… sooner the bet­ter

Aza­nian Peo­ple’s Or­gan­i­sa­tion mem­ber in Tsh­wane

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