Time for zero-tolerance approach to crime and criminals
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