Africans called to unite against crime

Thursday, May 25, 2017
By: 
More Matshediso

Pretoria - As nations across Africa gather to celebrate Africa Day, a call is being made to unite against crimes and violence against women and children.

South Africa joined the continent in celebrating Africa Day on Thursday, with President Jacob Zuma hosting the official programme at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria. He addressed a number of guests, including Ambassadors from other African countries, a number of Ministers, struggle stalwarts and musical legends, as well as school children.

While at the heart of the President’s address was a solemn call to action, song and dance were the order of the day in parts of South Africa and Africa today to uplift the continental spirit as African unite.

As guests made their way into the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, they were welcomed by songs from the military choir and the traditional music choir from the University of Pretoria. Guests were mostly dressed in traditional regalia, while others kept it simple with formal wear.

SAnews took the opportunity to speak to legendary music artist Dorothy Masuka. She lamented the fact that legendary freedom fighters like Oliver Tambo were not around to enjoy the fruits of their victory.

“It is a pity that they are not enjoying what people are enjoying now. Maybe if they were still here, things would be different,” said Masuka.

She believes that although their bodies may have been buried a long time ago, the spirits of struggle stalwarts linger on, and that they are ancestors who should be called upon to help fix what is not going right in South Africa.

“May they wake up and help South Africa. They must not sleep on us and remain silent. Their spirits must rise and call on our children to stop doing the horrors that we see on television and so on,” said Masuka.

She was alluding to the recent violence and killings of women and children in South Africa. Masuka said youth should stop taking things for granted.

“I want them to know that this is Africa. Africa is a great nation, no other can compare to it. Some of us have been all over the world, but there is no place like Africa. Please respect Africa my children, and be proud of you being an African, because to be an African is to be blessed,” said Masuka.

Child Protection Week

Addressing the guests at the event, President Zuma said as Child Protection Week starts on Sunday, the week should be used to increase the awareness of despicable and painful attacks and the abuse of women and children that has taken place in South Africa in recent weeks.

Child Protection Week will culminate on International Children’s Day on 1 June.

“We must work with the law enforcement agencies to prevent the attacks and also to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book,” said the President.

Spirit of Ubuntu

In the spirit of Ubuntu, President Jacob Zuma said South Africans have always lived in peace and harmony with brothers and sisters from other African countries in many communities.

“South Africa has always been home to nationals from sister countries from Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Tanzania, Namibia, Malawi, Swaziland, Botswana, Algeria, Uganda, Kenya and others, even at the height of apartheid oppression.

“They have lived in peace and friendship with South Africans and should continue to do so. We urge all communities to isolate criminal elements whose behaviour causes tensions at times amongst our peoples,” said President Zuma.

Unit against serious crimes

He urged all to unite against serious crimes such as human trafficking, child prostitution, forced prostitution and others which have become serious challenges in South Africa.

“Perpetrators of such crimes must be reported to the police, regardless of nationality. We also urge employers to stop causing tensions amongst our peoples, through employing illegal immigrants.

“The South African government continues to work tirelessly to remove all these sources of tension, working with our people,” said President Zuma. - SAnews.gov.za