Young communists want to start trust fund

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

The Young Communist League (YCL) has announced its plan to launch a community service campaign to help people who battle to get an ID from Home Affairs.

The campaign, which will kick off on November 28, is aimed at helping disgruntled community members who, like Kabelo Thibedi, have battled to get help from Home Affairs.

He said the campaign will see Thibedi and community members go from door to door providing people with information on where and how to apply for an ID.

"We will take details of people who are without IDs to Home Affairs for them to follow-up. We will monitor the situation," said YCL national secretary Buti Manamela.

But he said the campaign will be restricted to Meadowlands, where Thibedi resides.

The YCL also announced that it was going to establish a trust fund to help Thibedi with his legal fees. Manamela said the YCL was in discussions with various stakeholders to help with the trust fund.

Thibedi, who is appealing his five-year jail sentence, was sentenced after he held a Home Affairs employee hostage and demanded his ID.

Manamela said the YCL believed that Thibedi's sentence was "harsh". He said the court failed to look at the root of the problem - lazy Home Affairs officials.

"The five-year sentence should be given to the Home Affairs' officials. These people have committed a crime against the public for not providing a public service," he said.

Manamela called on Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to take steps against "lazy officials" in her department.

"The minister must look into her own department and see who deserves the punishment."

Manamela warned against sending people like Thibedi to jail, saying prisons played little role in their rehabilitation.

"Sending him to jail will not correct his conduct. Instead he might come out a hardened criminal. We know that the correctional system in our country has become a preparatory school for hardened criminals. This is what we are trying to prevent."