The government has told critics of its crime fighting strategy to stop criticising its efforts to fight crime.
The state has instead encouraged communities to help in the fight against crime.
The community could be highly effective in the fight against crime because criminals are part of the community. But the community's efforts to fight crime are made meaningless because of criminal law's fundamental rule that "one is innocent until proven guilty".
The call for the community's participation is bound to fall on deaf ears because people cannot participate without landing in trouble with the law.
They should be discouraged from contributing to the fight against crime because they risk being in trouble with the law for "taking the law into their hands".
This leaves the community confused because they cannot apprehend gun-toting thugs without applying excessive force.
Though communities are expected to help in the fight against crime, it is not their responsibility. It is the government responsibility to protect all its citizens.
We pay taxes so that the government can provide us with security. That is why when crime goes up, it is the government who must be blamed and not the community.
Phillimon Mnisi, Polokwane