Boitekong residents in Rustenburg in the North West are fed up with rising crime. To this end they’re partnering police and the Social Department to prevent violence against women and children.
Police statistics show it as the township with the highest murder rate in the province. It also has the highest sexual assaults and drug related crimes in the province.
“We are afraid for our children. They smoke Nyaope and we are too scared to say anything. Children smoke and are not afraid of taking a little child and raping her in the bushes,” says one concerned resident.
“These child rapes have become very prevalent here and when we report these things to the police they don’t take us seriously because they take their own time to get to the scene,” adds another concerned resident.
With over 60 murders and almost 200 sexual offences recorded in the 2016 / 2017 financial year, government has committed to working with the community to combat crime.
“We are appealing to every community members to stand up and say let us stop this especially the men to say count me in, not in my name, this is not supposed to happen. We are also appealing to the women because every time they report cases to the police they go and withdraw them,” said Social Development MEC, Hofman Galeng.
A 39-year-old former offender is advising communities to guard against negative influences that could drive youth to crime.
“We as criminals we abuse kids, we abuse our parents, we steal from them. What I can say is to get relevant role models these days, a role model without a tattoo, a role model without a history of drugs,” said former offender, Thabang Sefotho.
The campaign against the abuse of women and children ends on December 10.