Second-hand Goods Act a blow to crime
The buyer is now as responsible as the seller
DEPUTY Police Minister Maggie Sotyu yesterday told a packed Thohoyandou town hall that the new Second-hand Goods Act would deal a hammer blow to crime since the buyer would, according to the new law, be held responsible as much as the seller.
Launching the new act representing Minister Nathi Mthethwa, whom she said could not make it to Thohoyandou because of the bad weather, Sotyu said the new act was an expression "of our commitment to reach out to communities, be they urban or rural, that crime does not pay".
The purpose of the statute is to regulate the business of dealers in second-hand goods and pawnbrokers in order to combat trade in stolen goods.
Among other things, the act requires all dealers in second-hand goods to report to the police all suspicious transactions where the seller attempts to provide false particulars, or where the goods are suspected to be stolen or tampered with.
Sotyu said the new act would be a pain to criminals because people who buy stolen goods will be held as liable by the law as those who stole the goods.
She also urged people to be suspicious of people selling second-hand goods and report them to the police.
Limpopo MEC for safety and police Fhulufhelo Radzilani said she was happy that in coming to launch the act in Vhembe, the deputy minister also visited Vhembe's child protection unit and the one dealing with sexual offences.
"The province will also use next week's celebrations of the national week to educate people about the new act by preceding celebrations with workshops," she said.
Radzilani said people who are in need of water often got frustrated when meter pipes and borehole machines were being stolen.
"When the perpetrators are brought to book they end up walking scot-free in our courts because it is said municipalities do not have bylaws and perhaps this new legislation will stop such crimes," she said.
Acting Vhembe District executive mayor Lucas Manyuha said the district committed itself to supporting the implementation of the new Act and would back police stations within its jurisdiction in the fight against crime.
The meeting was also addressed by representatives from the community policing forums and business against crime.