President calls on Elsies River to unite against crime

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma has urged the residents of Elsies River to unite against the “cancer” called crime, which has claimed the lives of women and children in the area. 

The President addressed a packed Adriaanse Civic Centre in Elsies River on Tuesday as part of the Fight against Crime Imbizo. 

The imbizo coincides with Child Protection Week, when the entire nation has its focus on intensifying measures to protect the nation’s young. 

“We [government] want to work with the community to find solutions,” President Zuma said. 

He also called on residents to go back to basics and start street committees to ensure the safety of the entire neighbourhood, block by block. 

In recent weeks, the Elsies River community has been rattled by the death of three-year-old Courtney Pieters, whose body was found in a shallow grave next to abandoned railroad tracks in Epping. The community is also still grieving the senseless killing of rising football star, Fernando Williams, who was killed in a mass shooting that left four people dead and nine others injured.

President Zuma, who recently visited Elsies River, promised to return to the area to look into the levels of crime, especially those involving children, and how law enforcement authorities can improve their services. 

“Crime is a cancer that must be [rooted out of] our communities. The attacks on women and children are serious and that is why we are back here to discuss and hear from you what is going on here and what we can do together to change it,” the President said. 

He said he visited the local police station today to ease his own concerns about the police conduct in the Pieters case. 

He called on South Africans to unite against the killing of women and children, and also pledged more support to the victims of crime, specifically children. 

“She did not deserve to have her life cut short in that manner. Unfortunately Courtney’s story is cruel as it is not an isolated incident. Scores of children go missing and die every year at the hands of community members, including those who are close or members of their families,” he said. 

Locals complained to the President and his Cabinet Ministers about police resources, in particular the shortage of police detectives and vehicles to respond to crime, the lack of jobs in the area and high unemployment amongst the youth.

Others asked the President to put projects in place that can help educate women and children about rape and abuse. - TLM

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