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Monday, September 21, 2020
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    eMbalenhle police hosted meeting with community to discuss crime in the area

    Street committees should be established that would monitor the area at all times.

    More than 25 cases of assault, gang rape and murder reported to the eMbalenhle police station in only one week forced the hands of the eMbalenhle police to call for a meeting with the community to discuss the way the forward. On Saturday, 24 August, community members came in their numbers to the Risko Fakude soccer stadium to hear what was going to be done by the eMbalenhle police to stem the violent crimes in their community. All speakers’ fingers pointed to a group of young men from BaSotho tradition “Porokosiya” as being behind the senseless crimes perpetrated in the area.
    Speaking on behalf of the Community Policing Forum (CPF) Tebogo said it was time that community and police joined hands in fighting crime. Street committees should be established that would monitor the area at all times. He also blamed the court system because police did their work, which was to arrest criminals and the NPA and courts didn’t play their respective roles. Representing Vukanini taxi association (Vukta), Mr Aron Mahlangu said the issue of crime in the community affected their business in the area because they depended on the community. So, if the area they were operating in was no longer safe, it would affect them negatively. He said Vukanini Taxi Association was ready and prepared to work with the police in decreasing crime in the area.
    Mr Tsepo Lugkele said the problem in eMbalenhle was that the families’ structures were dysfunctional. There was no formal structure of father and mother raising children together, teaching them to do good. The issue was the lack of role models in the community. Young boys didn’t have upstanding citizens in the community to look up to. He also blamed the power cuts that had been happening in and around eMbalenhle since early this year, saying that crimes occurred more when there was load shedding in a particular area. All parties involved agreed that the problems started when there was no power.
    Delivering the keynote address Br. S Cele said that police worked with dockets and formal statements. People didn’t come forward with information that might help the police in doing their job. Instead, people rush to social media platforms to raise their level of dissatisfaction. He also explained the various departments that needed to be involved before a person could be convicted, saying there was the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as well as the Court and those departments only worked with tangible testimonies. The Police arrest criminals but community members fail to come forward to make a statement before the court of law. The unfortunate part was that no one from the Govan Mbeki municipality was present, said Br S.Cele, because the police were also complaining about poor infrastructure in eMbalenhle, saying that police vehicles couldn’t access some areas in the community and that the power cuts were done by the municipality. He also emphasised that police visibility, especially at night, was crucial because that was when crimes were happening.
    Representing the chiefs (ubukhosi), Mr Mabena said what was happening in the area was very painful and as chiefs, they had received numerous reports of BaSotho tradition (ingoma) operating outside of the jurisdictions. These are the people to be blamed because the community didn’t know what they were teaching those children in the initiation schools. These young boys came back from their initiation with very bad behaviour. He concluded by saying they had already started with a program to monitor the initiation schools across Mpumalanga province because there were a lot of unregistered initiation schools operating in the community.
    Ps Mahlangu spoke on behalf of the Council of Churches and said there was no peace and stability in the community and he emphasised the importance of families playing their roles in improving the community. – Sandile Mkhwanazi

    eMbalenhle police hosted meeting with community to discuss crime in the area