AUTHORITIES HOT ON THE HEELS OF KIDNAPPERS

AUTHORITIES HOT ON THE HEELS OF KIDNAPPERS

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says investigations into a series or kidnappings are “on-going” and sources say police
are hot on the heels of the criminals.

Today is Day 86 and Pretoria businessman Omar Carrim is still missing.

Carrim (76) was kidnapped on Aug 3.

“Concerned Muslims of Cape Town” have send out several viral messages saying they know who is behind the kidnappings and have vowed to hunt them down.

They have threatened to expose the culprits.

Cape Town businessman Zhaun Ahmed was kidnapped in July and released after his family apparently paid millions of rands in ransom.

Several other kidnappings have been reported.

Carrim is reportedly not well. Let’s pray for his urgent release.

*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist.

Are the police really interested in partnerships?

Are the police really interested in partnerships?

We often hear public officials talk about partnerships and they stress the need for it.

Partnerships are critical to take South Africa forward and we know government alone will not succeed without the support of civil society.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is one such department that always stresses the need partnerships.

But, it’s only talk!

They are not serious at all about partnerships and often alienate communities and the business sector.

I am inundated with calls every week from individuals, NGO’s and companies who want to assist in the fight again crime. They come up with innovative ideas and suggestions.

But, most don’t even get the courtesy of an acknowledgment letter when they write to the police leadership and even politicians.

This is a sad indictment on the SAPS and on our government.

The National Development Plan (NDP) talks about active citizenry. And yet when ordinary citizens take the lead and want to become active, they are shown the finger.

I was convinced that Fikile Mbalula would take partnerships to a new level when he took over as police minister. But, very little has changed so far. Let’s give him a few more months and see if things improve.

The police treat many communities with contempt. No wonder public confidence in the SAPS is so poor.

The same can be said of many other government departments on a national, provincial and local level.

I had a company approaching me wanting to invest millions of rands to make our cities safer. We are still waiting for the City of Johannesburg and Tshwane Metro to respond.

Another NGO offered to give the SAPS groundbreaking technology at no cost. Again, not even a reply.

It’s simple: if these government departments are not keen on partnerships, corporates will invest their money and time elsewhere.

If the police think they can fight crime alone, good luck!

It’s time they smell the roses and wake up to the fact that they will not succeed without partnerships and support from the public.

*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador
Twitter: @abramjee

NEW ORPHANAGE FOR ENNERDALE SOON

NEW ORPHANAGE FOR ENNERDALE SOON

A new multi-million rand orphanage is to be constructed in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg.

The project is being undertaken by the local Muslim community and it will be open to all sections of the community.

Speaking at the soil-turning ceremony today, Councillor Mohamed Christians, City of Joburg’s Chair of Chairs, praised civil society for taking the lead.

“I take up the challenge from social activist Yusuf Abramjee and will speak to Mayor Herman Mashaba to see if the city can contribute towards the project.”

Abramjee said the orphanage was “urgently needed in Ennerdale and it will assist some 100 children.”

He said: “If we wait for government, we going to wait for a long time. I salute the local community to taking up the challenge and building this facility.”

Abramjee opened pledges and R25 000 was donated within 3 minutes from the community. A further R300 000 was pledged from a nearby Muslim community.

The Baitul Haleema Orphanage is expected to be completed next year.

Former President of the Muslim Judicial Council, Shaik Irfaan Hendricks, said: “The orphanage will accept children from across society. Children are our future and it is our religious obligation to assist them.”

Hendricks said he was proud of the Ennerdale community and its religious leaders.

Ennerdale Councillor Danny Netnow said the Muslim community always assited. “We salute you.”

Netnow said Abramjee promised to support a local project when he visited Ennerdale last year to donate R1m to a local charity for Syrian refugees and orphans.

Operation SA led the drive.

“Abramjee kept to his word and we are seeing local now benefetting,” said Netnow.

Moulana Bilal Vaid from the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa (Council of Muslim Theologians) said the project needed all the support.

KIDNAPPING ALERT: ACT NOW TO CRACK THE RINGS

by Yusuf Abramjee.

The next big organized crime has hit South Africa- Kidnappings.

There has been a series of kidnappings over recent years and it appears to be escalating.

What is worrying is that these syndicates are becoming more daring and they are clearly sophisticated.

Kidnapping syndicates have been operating for some time – taking their victims and demanding ransoms running into tens of millions of rands.

Many of these gangs have been arrested. Others continuing cropping-up targeting largely Indian, Pakistani, Chinease, Bangladeshi Zimbabwean and Mozambican nationals living in South Africa.

Many of the victims are forced to pay ransom locally. Other gangs demand payment in foreign countries making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to follow the trail.

I assisted a family of Polokwane last year when Anisah Moosa was kidnapped. The gang demanded R3-million cash and they were eventually arrested. The suspects are all South Africans.

There has since been a number of similar kidnappings. A businessman in Mafikeng was kidnapped a few weeks ago and freed by police within 24 hours. Arrests were made.

A wealthy Cape Town businessman, Naushad Deshmukh Khan, 46, was kidnapped late last year. The kidnappers demanded millions of dollars in cash.

Sources say a ransom of $750 000 was eventually paid and Khan was freed two months later. No arrests have been made.

Khan’s kidnapping was the first in South Africa having the features of an international organized crime syndicate at work. For obvious reasons, some of the information cannot be shared.

In July, prominent Cape Town businessman Zhaun Ahmed (71) was kidnapped outside his offices in Woodstock. He is still missing.

And earlier this month, Pretoria businessman Omar Carrim was kidnapped after leaving his business in the city for home in Laudium. He is also still missing.

Carrim’s luxury car was found burned on the outskirts of Erasmia west of Pretoria the next day.

Reports say there have been ransom demands for Ahmed and Carrim. But the families are refusing to talk. All they are pleading for is the safe return of their loved ones.

Last week, a Bangladeshi restaurant owner was kidnapped in Lenasia. Again, there has been a ransom demand.

The kidnapping of Ahmed and Carrim seems to have been well-organized and I will not be surprised that highly-trained former foreign soldiers could be involved as “runners.”

Local rogue cops may also be aiding and abetting the syndicates.

The kingpin/s could be even sitting abroad and giving orders. All they are interested in is getting the hard-earned cash from their victims.

Kidnappings were rife in Maputo for years. Scores of business people were kidnapped. While most were freed after paying tens of millions of dollars in ransom, two victims were killed.

Police is Mozambique, assisted by international law enforcement agencies, broke the backbone of these syndicates.

Speculation is rife locally that some of these gang members from Maputo may be involved in the latest kidnappings in South Africa.

The string of kidnappings has caused much fear and panic, especially amongst South Africa’s Indian community and also foreigners living in South Africa.

Some have taken steps to beef-up their personal security and that of their families.

The gangs are demanding millions of rands from their victims- far beyond their life-long savings.

Authorities need to act with vigour and get to the bottom of these kidnapping syndicates.

These gangs think they can get away with their ill-gotten gains. The law will eventually catch-up with them. Remember, you can run but you cannot hide!

Money laundering syndicates are also apparently working in cahoots with these kidnapping syndicates.

Someone, somewhere, somehow knows something. We need to break our silence and get these criminals arrested. If anyone has any information, please come forward.

Let’s also pray for the safe return of the victims.

If authorities don’t act now and act decisively, criminals will continue running amok.

We must stand united and DO something. We need to fight crime as a collective and we must now NOT allow these thugs to take our country over.

I remain hopeful that Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and the SAPS will act decisively. Crime is out of control and communities must stand up and say “enough is enough”. Let’s unite.

Now is the time! It’s time to #MakeSASafe

*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist. He is an Interpol #TurnBackCrime Ambassador and also Namola Safety App’s Chief Ambassador.
Twitter: @abramjee

Lawyers Against Abuse (LvA).

I visited Diepsloot north of Johannesburg last week and met individuals from non-profit organisation Lawyers Against Abuse (LvA).

The NGO does superb work and they assist hundreds of abused women annually. They focus on gender-based violence and their legal and counseling services are all provided free of charge.

Scores of women are raped and beaten in Diepsloot every month. Yet, a proper SAPS station was only opened last year.

I was shocked to hear from Lawyers Against Abuse that there is no post-rape medical care in Diepsloot. Victims have to travel to Roodepoort, many kilometers away.

This is a disgrace! Why do victims have to suffer further trauma?

Minutes after I tweeted this, 1st For First Women, an insurance company, responded and offered to buy the rape kits. I even had a chat with the company’s group boss, Tom Creamer, who said they are willing to assist in whatever way possible.

1st for Women later engaged directly with Lawyers against Abuse Executive Director, Lindsay Henson, and offered their full support in LvA’s advocacy efforts in trying to obtain post-rape medical care in Diepsloot, including the necessary medical facility and personnel trained to collect the forensic evidence.

Well done Tom and 1st For Women. It is companies like yours who make a difference. Thank you for leading the way.

Corporate South Africa has a pivotal role to play, especially when government fails us.

If you want to link to LvA website: www.lva.org.za
*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and social activist.
Twitter: @abramjee

OPEN LETTER: #MakeSAsafe

OPEN LETTER: #MakeSAsafe

Monday 19 June 2017

Dear Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, MEC’s, Mayors, MMC’s and corporate leaders,

CRIME IN SA AND FINDING URGENT SOLUTIONS

You are fully aware that crime is affecting all of us.

Criminals are running amok and the situation does not seem to be improving. In fact, indications are that it’s getting worse.

South Africans are living in fear.

Criminals show no respect for life and property. With an average murder rate of just under 50 people each day, it is safe say: “Crime is killing South Africa.”

While the Constitution of our country guarantees us safety and security, we know we cannot depend solely on government. We need to strengthen public/private partnerships and mobilize
civil society.

We cannot only point fingers. Yes, it is our right to criticize and condemn but we must also find solutions. We must all work together to #MakeSAsafe

I accepted the role of Namola’s Chief Ambassador in December. I know that this safety app is making a difference and has the potential to make an even bigger difference in the months and years ahead.

The City of Tshwane’s TMPD launched Namola over a year ago. It has grown and developed. But, there is lots of opportunity to make it more effective – and we need the TMPD to commit further.

The Gauteng Community Safety Department under the leadership of MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane launched Namola a few weeks ago. The partnership with Gauteng Traffic is already yielding results.

MEC Nkosi-Malobane said “we have to embrace technology and improve response times…That’s what Namola is doing.”

And last week, the Mayor of Stellenbosch Gesie Van Deventer announced a partnership with Namola.

The Mayor said: “Using technology such as this in our fight against crime is an essential step in the right direction to improve the safety and security of our residents and visitors. The recent murder of a student and the rape of young girl within our municipal area have again highlighted the need for innovative thinking from local government to find and implement workable solutions. Namola provides a unique approach to improving safety and security and allows for multiple stakeholders to work together, including the Municipality, the South African Police Service and private security.”

We presented Namola to the South African Police Service (SAPS) a few months ago. It is the ideal solution to the problems being experienced at 10111 Centers. The Police’s Civil Secretariat has an e-policy and we are meeting them soon.

Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, is on record as saying that we must use technology in the fight against crime.

Namola has over 55 000 downloads. Gauteng has three control rooms and Stellenbosch is now live.

We guarantee a call-back within 90 seconds of the panic button being activated. And the nearest police and/or Metro/Traffic police vehicle will respond.

Namola will certainly contribute to #MakeSAsafe

I appeal to National, Provincial and Local Government to follow the lead taken by Tshwane, Gauteng and Stellenbosch and implement the safety app in their areas. Now is the time!

We’ve also had interest from Gauteng Disaster Management who want to use it for fire emergencies.

Happimo is the NPO that runs Namola.

It’s critical to invest time and money into the fight against crime.

Let’s cut the red-tape and get it going without delay.

We are getting requests from across South Africa.

In the informal settlement of Diepsloot north of Johannesburg we have a partnership with Memeza and when alarms are activated, the nearest police vehicle responds- thanks to Namola.

We hope to cover the entire South Africa by the end of this year- but we can only do with your support.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, have already shown interest in Namola.

Companies are often scared to be associated with the fight against crime because they think it’s negative. It’s not! It’s contributing to #MakeSAsafe and you have to invest into technology.

Let’s not allow criminals to ruin our country. Invest time and money and support initiatives such as Namola.

I salute people like businessman, Alan Knott-Craig, Jr, the co-founder of Namola for having the vision. Several foreign countries are already showing interest in Namola.

My concluding appeal to both the public and the private sectors: Cut the bureaucratic delays and get things going. For as long as you delay, criminals will be the only ones benefiting.

With kind regards

Yusuf Abramjee
Chief Brand Ambassador: Namola, anti-crime activist and Social Cohesion Advocate

Twitter: @abramjee

MBALULA MAKING HIS MARK

MBALULA MAKING HIS MARK

Fikile Mbalula was appointed as the new Police Minister at the end of March.

Mbalula started making his mark from day one in office. He hit the ground running and he is certainly keeping the momentum as his 100 days in office fast approaches.

Mbalula, as I have said from the very beginning, is the right man for the job. He is young, dynamic, energetic and he gets things done. That’s what the police needed for a very long time. Let’s not forget he was deputy minister of police some years ago so he knows the problems within the SAPS.

Two major decisions were made by the Minister within the first two months or so in office: He got rid of Hawks Head Berning Ntlemeza and he replaced General Khomotso Phahlane, the acting national commissioner.

Mbalula’s predecessor, Nathi Nhleko, was useless. He did little and under his tenure morale in the police remained low.

Mbalula is slowly starting to restore confidence in the police. Yes, morale is low and a lot of work needs to be done.

The good thing is that the man known as “Razzmatazz” is starting to motivate the men and women in blue.

While Sports and Recreation Minister, Mbalula mobilized the nation and put South African sport on the map.

We need to support the Police Minister and re-committed ourselves to #MakeSAsafe

Crime is out of control. Criminals are running amok, as Mbalula says. We have a national crisis and we must deal with it with extreme urgency.

We have many committed and dedicated police officers. We must support them. Those who are corrupt must be arrested and given orange overalls. Those who are lazy must be shown the door.

Let’s hope that Mbalula also:

*increases police visibility as a matter of urgency.
*beefs-up police the resources so that they can fight crime effectively.
*get the police to improve service delivery at all levels.
*improves the standard of detective work.
*brings back the specialized, dedicated police units such as narcotics and the anti-corruption.
*get the police to embrace technology in the fight against crime including apps, facial recognition, body cameras. etc.
*appoints a permanent national commissioner as a matter of urgency.
*appoints a Police Ombudsman to handle service delivery complaints.
*get the courts to stop the easy granting of bail to suspects linked to serious crimes.
*mobilizes civil society to join hands with law enforcement agencies to fight crime.
*improves the salaries of policemen and women, especially in the lower ranks, and
*improve police communication which is not up to scratch.

Mbalula is a man of action. Within days of taking office as the Police Minister, he got operations going to clampdown on drug dealers in Laudium outside Pretoria, he went to Soshanguve north of the city to engage the community and was on the ground on the Cape Flats where gang violence is rife. He also went to Eldorado Park outside Johannesburg and Vuwani in Limpopo during violent protests.

The Minister also visited a number of police stations unannounced and I’m sure we going to see more.

He went to the 10111 Centre in Midrand to see how they operate for himself. I’m told it was the first Minister of Police to have visited the centre in years. Let’s hope he resolves the labour dispute between 10111 Call Centre operators and the SAPS.

We as South Africans have to roll up our sleeves and join hands to fight crime.

We have to hold the police to account. They are here to serve and protect us. Let’s not forget that Mbalula is the political head and the national commissioner is operational.

We need to give acting police boss, Lt Gen Lesetja Mothiba the support also. He is an experienced cop.

I was happy to see EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema tweeting recently: “It looks like Minister of Police is on a mission & needs our undivided support,we need more aggressive response when dealing with criminals.”

Let’s bring #WanyaTsotsi and #CrimeMustFall to life. Let’s #MakeSAsafe

And of course, you can follow @MbaluluFikile on Twitter…he is really active!
-Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador.
*This is his personal view.

Twitter: @abramjee

R100 000 DONATED TO CHARITIES TO ASSIST HAJJ PILGRIMS

MEDIA STATEMENT

THURSDAY 1 June 2017

R100 000 DONATED TO CHARITIES TO ASSIST HAJJ PILGRIMS

(From left) Haroon Kalla from Awaqaf, Publisher Yaseen Theba, Al Firnas Patel from Crescent Lifestyle, CEO of Awqaf SA ,Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to South Africa Ghorm Said Malhan, Shaheen Essop from the South African Hajj and Umrah Council and social activist Yusuf Abramjee.

Two South African charities received a boost when R100 000 was donated to them to assist needy pilgrims traveling for the annual Hajj Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

The proceeds of the coffee table book, #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj,  published by social activist, Yusuf Abramjee, were presented to Awqaf SA and Crescent Lifestyle in Pretoria today.

Abramjee published hundreds of photographs of his Hajj journey last year in a high-gloss A3 coffee table book.

“The idea was to create awareness of Hajj which is compulsory for all Muslim who can afford it at least once in their lifetime. Also, it brought back many memories for those who have been on Hajj. We need to promote social cohesion and religious tolerance and that’s what the book does,” said Abramjee.

He said the R100 000 raised from the proceeds of the book “will go some way to assist destitute pilgrims.”

Abramjee said the “Hajj Waqf” (Hajj Funds) helped scores of pilgrims annually.

Abramjee thanked publisher Yaseen Theba from Vision Branding and all the contributors and sponsors.

500 books were donated to libraries, schools and religious institutions.

#Hajj2016 received the support of scores of prominent South Africans including cabinet ministers, business leaders and social activists.

World renowned Islamic scholar, Mufti Islam Menk, from Zimbabwe, late stalwart Ahmed “Uncle Kathy”

Kathrada, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and former Ministers Derrick Hannekom and Tokio Sexwale were among those who endorsed #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to South Africa, Ghorm Said Malhan, said: “South African Muslims are a key part of South Africa as they became completely integrated into society and influenced all areas of life of SA culture.

“I would like to thank Yusuf for his book on Hajj and for his dedication and service to your community and country.”

“The book is indeed a clear example of the strong relations between Saudi Arabia and the South African Muslim community in particular, and the entire South Africa in general,” said Ambassdor Malhan.

He added that South Africans “should all be proud of their exceptional reputation for religious tolerance and diversity.”

The Ambassdor announced that the royal embassy of Saudi Arabia would also make a donation to the Hajj Fund.

CEO of Awqaf SA, Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, said: “We are proud of the

contribution made by Yusuf in the production of his #Hajj2016 Coffee Table album.”

“We are certain that the photographs presented will inspire many to look forward to this awesome pilgrimage-journey of a lifetime.

“We are also confident that the book will bring a better understanding about not only one of the great pillars of Islam, Hajj, but also about Islam as a complete  and comprehensive way of life, to both Muslims and people of other faiths and persuasions – especially in an era of Islamophobic tendencies,” said Cajee.

“The contribution to the “Hajj Waqf” from the proceeds of sales and donations of the book will be invested in the Awqaf SA Hajj Waqf Fund and its proceeds will be used on a sustainable basis to assist poor and needy pilgrims (or Hujjaj), and also to some the opportunity to experience the sacred journey.

Al-Firnas Patel, Managing Director of Crescent Lifestyle said: “We congratulate Yusuf on the successful publication of the #Hajj2016 book and its objectives.

“Crescent Lifestyle has for the past nine years added value to the lives of tens of thousands of South African Muslims through its unique product. In addition Crescent Lifestyle has also donated from its profits close to R4 million on behalf of its members to various beneficiaries and sponsored over 115 of its members to go for Umrah (mini pilgrimage).

“We welcome the funds towards the Hajj Fund received from Yusuf through his book and this will facilitate needy muslims to fulfill their dreams of going for Hajj.

“This is a noble and an admirable initiative and we encourage others to take on such initiatives. Together we can make a difference,” added Patel.

Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee

082 4414 203

@abramjee.com

Yaseen Theba

064 4 000 000

@yaseentheba