We are all in this together

Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lt.General Mzwandile Petros addressed the Bedfordview 'State of the Surburb' community meeting.

Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lt.General Mzwandile Petros addressed the Bedfordview ‘State of the Surburb’ community meeting.

I attended a “State of the Suburb” community meeting in Bedfordview, Johannesburg last night, which was organised by the local Community Policing Forum (CPF).

The turnout was fantastic.

Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lt. General Mzwandile Petros and Community Safety MEC, Faith Mazibuko was there too, including representatives from the SHOUT Foundation.

The Bedfordview CPF is credited with being one of the foremost structures in South Africa. What is their secret?

General Petros also indicated it is the first CPF to invite him to engage on a community level.

Together with her team, Marina Constas, chairwoman of the Bedfordview CPF, works tirelessly with the community and local police to achieve a collective goal of preventing and curbing crime.

This community is a fantastic example of why CPFs exist in the first place and what they should do to fulfill their mandate.

There are too many examples of dysfunctional CPFs that are driven by their own personal or political agendas.

These CPFs have no relationship with the local police, nor do they listen or carry out the mandate by residents in their communities.

If this is true of your community, expose them to the provincial CPF board or if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Line or Crime Stop.

marina

Marina Constas, chairwoman of the Bedfordview CPF.

The rot and corruption is not going to end if we don’t take the initiative to expose it. It is both your right and responsibility.

Bedfordview should serve as an example that we have to work together and look out for each other in our communities.

We can no longer afford to isolate ourselves behind our high walls and electrified fences.

Get to know your neighbours and take collective responsibility to achieve the type of community you want and you want your kids to grow up in.

Last night we heard from the CPF about the conditions that local police have to work in. Morale is low.

The majority of police officers were described as dedicated and Constas called on the community to support and encourage them. Read more

Clarion call to break silence on abuse of rights

Making headlines for all the wrong reasons – the SAPS has been shamed by their handling of (from left) the Oscar Pistorius case, the death of Andries Tatane at the hands of police, the Marikana massacre and the most recent case of police brutality following the death of taxi driver, Mido Macia in Daveyton.

Making headlines for all the wrong reasons – the SAPS has been shamed by their handling of (from left) the Oscar Pistorius case, the death of Andries Tatane at the hands of police, the Marikana massacre and the most recent case of police brutality following the death of taxi driver, Mido Macia in Daveyton.

“Human Rights Day (21 March) presents an opportunity, every year, to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere.”

This year, we have much to reflect upon.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is making international headlines again following the torture and subsequent death of a Mozambican national in Daveyton.

Earlier, we had the Marikana blood-bath and the murder of Andries Tatane in the Free State. These are the high-profile cases.

But what about the many cases where ordinary citizens get abused and tortured by those in uniforms and yes, they call themselves “law enforcers”.

The SAPS has a serious problem and it requires urgent intervention at the highest level.

A call has now been made for a judicial commission of enquiry into the police to ascertain the general cause/s of the police conduct.

I don’t think there is a need for a commission. It’s simply lawlessness of the worst form and an abuse of power by SAPS members. They must be treated as criminals and the law must come down hard on them. Read more