Church leaders join state to fight crime

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Durban's church leaders have united with the provincial government to fight crime.

They have formed a partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal government to fight crime in "the house of God and to revive street committees in the townships".

The campaign is called the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) of the Soul.

Church leaders said they are responding to calls from ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma and MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, Bheki Cele, to fight crime in their churches.

Cele said churches were safe havens for criminals. He said mothers were also to blame for not questioning their children's criminal activities.

"Mothers give children R8 to go into town and they come back with a brand new BMW that takes them to church and they do not question where the car came from," Cele said in Umlazi on Friday.

Pastor Vusi Dube, of eThekwini Community Church, said churches face a huge challenge. He agreed that churches hide criminals and then point fingers at others.

"As church leaders we cannot allow the house of God to be used by criminals," he said.

Dube said that churches were drafting strategies on how to deal with crime inside and outside the church. He said it was the first time that churches have joined the government to wage war against crime.

"We started campaigns to fight crime alone, but now we will be running parallel programmes with government leaders," Dube said.

"We will be rolling our massive campaign throughout taverns in the province because that's where most of the crime is being cooked up."