Makhanda community band together to curb crime

Women are being targeted for many of the crimes
Women are being targeted for many of the crimes
Image: 123rf/ Igor Stevanovic

Community members in Makhanda in the Eastern Cape have joined forces to fight increasing incidents of crime in the area.

Activist and founding chairperson of the Unemployed People’s Movement Ayanda Kota told Sowetan that community members have been raising their concerns around the lack of policing against crime in their areas on social media and have now moved to take a stand against it.

“There have been many instances where abahlali [residents] have turned to Facebook to report crime incidents because the police failed to respond, even having to turn to the local private security company for help as a last resort.

"Many of these crimes are serious crimes where women have been targeted,” said Kota.

Community member Sikhumbuzo Tshezi Soxujwa said the rise in crime in various locations can be attributed to the sale of drugs that is happening in Makhanda.

“As the residents of Makhanda, we are angry and we are tired of the high crime rates that we are being subjected to. We have now come together to fight these crimes as well as to fight those who are promoting crime through the sale of drugs in our areas,” said Soxujwa.

Police spokesperson, Col Sibongile Soci confirmed that “serious crime incidents have been reported at the Joza Police Station recently which have been strongly condemned by the police”.

“Following these incidents, various meetings were held with the community, police explained to the community how they can help in the fight against crime through the CPF structures and patrols in the area,” said Soci.

Kota added that as a solution to the problem, community members have resorted to working towards the establishment of community policing forums (CPF) with the help of the local police.

“It is now our aim to secure patrolling permits from the police that will permit each area to have a group of around 10 people to routinely patrol the area… we have to work with the police and not against them,” said Kota.

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