Gauteng Premier urges Soweto residents to unite against crime, women abuse
22 Apr 2012
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on Sunday, April 22, urged Soweto people to unite against crime and the abuse of women.
Speaking in Soweto at a multi-denominational prayer for peace, healing and moral regeneration, Premier Mokonyane pleaded with residents to stand up against criminals, reclaim the streets in their communities and called on parents to instil good values among children especially boys.
“We must come together and deal with the demon of crime in our communities in the same way that all South Africans stood up against apartheid,” she said.
The prayer was organised in the wake of the incident in which a teenager was allegedly gang raped by a group of boys in the township.
“Let us liberate our streets by reclaiming them from criminals. Women in Gauteng should not lock themselves behind closed doors because they are afraid of men,” she said.
The Premier also called on people to protect vulnerable members in their communities such as people with disabilities and root out other societal problems such as the prevalence of drugs and alcohol use among young people.
“Brothers and sisters, this is enough. Even animals do not do this. Any child is your child. If you give our children drugs and alcohol, you are killing the nation.
The meeting was attended by officials from the national government such as the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, Gauteng MECs Nandi Mayathula-Khoza of Agriculture and Social Development and Faith Mazibuko of Community Safety. Other prominent people such as TV actor Patrick Shai, who is playing a key role in highlighting the problem of gender-based violence in South Africa also attended the meeting.
Premier Mokonyane praised the police’s swift move in arresting those linked to the alleged rape of the mentally ill Soweto teenager. However, she was upfront with the police and government departments saying they needed to take their work more serious.
“Government should be responsive to its people. When people come to our offices, let us listen to them. When people go to a police station, they go there because they have nowhere else to go to. The law must take its course, police must do their work, prosecutors must prosecute and people who are found guilty of any crime should go to jail,” she said.
The Premier also urged boys to stay away from crime. “Those of you who have not done it, please do not copy from those who commit crime. Those who sell drugs should be exposed,” she said.
Mokonyane also pleaded with the residents not to condemn the suspects’ parents and urged neighbours of the victim’s mother to be supportive to her. “Let us not condemn those parents because they did not ask their children to do this. Let us love one another. It is not right that another woman (the victim’s mother) is forced to leave her house because her neighbours are gossiping about her. That woman is hurting. We have prayed for her and we love her because we know she is not a bad mother. Let us support her because she is carrying a heavy load alone,” she said.
She also warned that those who were circulating the video clip of the girl being gang rape were coming a crime. “Those of you whose cell phones have this footage, please delete it,”
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Issued by: Gauteng Office of the Premier
22 Apr 2012
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