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Security guards get two years’ pay after being fired for being women

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By Israel Nkate | Feb 19, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Tlhabologang in North West used to be a gangsters' paradise until a group of local volunteers decided to take matters into their own hands and confront the criminals head-on.

A notorious gang called Hard Livings had been terrorising the community of this once sleepy township for years. Week in and week out people were killed, robbed of their belongings and money, while women and girls were raped.

The streets and local taverns were no-go areas for the community. The gang terrorised the community with impunity.

Seeing that crime was spiralling out of control, Daniel ''Screamer'' Moepeng and 38 volunteers formed the Crime Combating Initiative of Coligny in 2008 in a bid to bring back the freedom Tlhabologang once had.

The CCIC began operating from the old local police station. They started patrolling the dusty little township's streets at night, searching patrons in taverns and escorting others home.

During these patrols people were randomly searched and dangerous weapons seized.

Criminals and those found with weapons were then handed over to police.

According to Moepeng two incidents in Tlhabologang's Extension 5 led to the formation of the CCIC.

Moepeng's son's RDP house was vandalised and an elderly woman allegedly returning from a night vigil was found raped and killed. The matter was reported to the local police but no action was taken.

"We realised that the people who committed these evil deeds did so because there were no streetlights. We decided to divide ourselves into groups and started patrolling Tlhabologang's dark areas," Moepeng said.

Local people have mixed views about the CCIC.

Lerefolo Kgosiemang, of Extension 4, applauds the group but feels that the necessary steps were not followed in forming the CCIC.

''The community was not consulted. They do not have permission to stop and search people. Only the police have the right to do so,'' he said.

Kgosi Molete, who runs a local tavern, holds a different view. He has since entered into an agreement with the group to search patrons at his gate and keep an eye inside.

''I saw what they were doing and was impressed. The level of crime has gone down. We are in the process of buying them uniforms. I call on our people to support them and stop calling them names,'' Molete said.

To prove how popular CCIC has become, former gangsters have joined and the township is now almost crime-free.

"This shows what communities working together can achieve," Moepeng said.


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