Prayers for crime to end

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

"If God is with us, who can be against us?" is the message members from different churches carried with them when they participated in a march against crime.

More than a hundred people attended the march at Buffelsdraai in Verulam, north of Durban, which ended in a prayer meeting at a local stadium yesterday afternoon.

Phenias Mdlalose, of the Apostolic Church of Christ in Zion, who organised the march and the prayer, said: "The situation is so bad that people are killed week in and week out.

"In February alone, four people died, with one of them being chopped with an axe, and we felt that we had to do something."

Mzomusha Mzizi, of the Nazareth Baptist Church, popularly known as Shembe, said they believed in the power of prayer.

"This is the only solution to the problems here and I hope and believe that God will hear our prayers and answer us," he said.

"We have seen houses burnt and people leaving the area and this is not the type of life one should lead and be proud of."

Inspector Mandla Khumalo, said crime is so rife in Buffelsdraai that some police were reluctant to attend to complaints.

"We were also experiencing problems with personnel shortages and vehicles as we have only two patrolling vans to cover areas in and around Verulam.

"But I am happy that we have received an increase in personnel and two more vans and this means that we will be able to attend to as many complaints as possible," Khumalo said.

Mthunzi Dlamini, a local councilor, said homes had been burnt and sometimes the community would bump into a decomposing corpse.

"Some people camp at night fearing attack in their own homes and this not the way one should live," he said.

Gladys Khanyile 65, whose grandson, Sibonelo Khanyile, was chopped with an axe said she cannot come to terms with what happened in February.

"It was just weeks after we had buried my son Nhlanhla and Sibonelo was killed in the most brutal manner I could ever have imagined. What hurts me most is that no one has been arrested. The police never even came for statements or anything from us, and I am deeply hurt,' she said.