Caption: (from left) Crime Line’s Marisa Oosthuizen, head Yusuf Abramjee and Lead SA’s Catherine Constantinides.

Caption: (from left) Crime Line’s Marisa Oosthuizen, head Yusuf Abramjee and Lead SA’s Catherine Constantinides. has presented Crime Line head, Yusuf Abramjee with the Diamond Arrow award 2013 for Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. hosted its annual “Muslim Business Survey and Achievers Awards” ceremony in Rosebank Johannesburg today.

Abramjee was presented with the award “for individuals held in high esteem over the past 12 months for their commitment to corporate social responsibility initiatives.”

The survey was “rated by a random sample of 100 respondents comprising of CEO’s, MD’s, business owners, company directors and managers and senior community leaders representing the Muslim Community in Gauteng,” said’s Johan Hatting.

“Yusuf Abramjee received the highest rating from this year’s survey – Outstanding…1st overall” said Hatting.

Abramjee said he was “honoured and humbled” to receive the award. “Initiatives such as Crime Line and Lead SA are team efforts.”

Crime Line is an anonymous tip-off service and it was launched as a Primedia group initiative over six years ago.

Thanks to anonymous tip-offs from the public, thousands of criminals have been arrested and millions of Rands of drugs, stolen and counterfeit property have been seized.

Abramjee said: “We thank the public for the support. Blowing the whistle on crime should be the responsibility of each and every citizen.”

The Lead SA activist added that “community service should be the rule rather than the exception.”

Crime Line recently scooped two top awards at the annual Crime Stoppers International (CSI) conference in Barbados.

In April this year, Abramjee received a national order, the Order of Baobab, from President Jacob Zuma for “community development” – the highest recognition a government can give a citizen.

Media Statement: Crime Line scoops awards as CSI heads for South Africa

CSI President, Alex MacDonald; Divisional Commissioner: Detective Service, Lieutenant-General Vinesh Moonoo; Crime Stoppers Barbados Chairwoman, Julie Dash, Head of Crime Line and CSI Vice-President, Yusuf Abramjee; Crime Line Coordinator, Marisa Oosthuizen and Crime Stop Station Commander, Colonel Dr Attie Lamprecht.

CSI President, Alex MacDonald; Divisional Commissioner: Detective Service, Lieutenant-General Vinesh Moonoo; Crime Stoppers Barbados Chairwoman, Julie Dash, Head of Crime Line and CSI Vice-President, Yusuf Abramjee; Crime Line Coordinator, Marisa Oosthuizen and Crime Stop Station Commander, Colonel Dr Attie Lamprecht.


Thursday, 3 October 2013 
The anonymous tip-off service, Crime Line scooped two top media awards at the 34th Annual Crime Stoppers International (CSI) Conference in Barbados this week. This as South Africa prepares to host the conference in Cape Town next year.
Head of Crime Line and CSI Vice-President, Yusuf Abramjee serves on the board of directors together with Lieutenant-General Vinesh Moonoo and Colonel Dr Attie Lamprecht from the South African Police Service (SAPS). South Africa was also represented this year by Crime Line co-ordinator, Marisa Oosthuizen.
The team represent Crime Stoppers Southern Africa (CSSA) that so far include the Crime Line and Crime Stop programmes.
CSSA secured the bid to bring the international conference to the African continent for the first time.
Crime Line received media awards in the radio and television categories for crime stoppers campaigns for communities over 3-million.
“We are honoured to end three days of intensive training on a high note with these awards.  We believe it to be a positive precursor to the 35th CSI conference that will be held in South Africa,” said Head of Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee.
“The conference provides us with an opportunity to bring crime stoppers from around the world to our shores to share ideas and the latest trends in global crimes. Crime knows no borders and it is therefore vital for us to forge these bonds with foreign partners,” Abramjee added.
CSSA has selected Cape Town as the host city for the October 2014 prestigious conference and will open registration next month.
The conference promises to cover a variety of crime topics with expert speakers from all corners of the world.
Barbados Crime Stoppers handed the baton to the SA team at a gala dinner last night. In a video message, President Jacob Zuma said the country was looking forward to welcoming crime fighting activists to SA.
Abramjee said it was significant that the world conference was coming to SA in the same year when the country will be celebrating 20 years of freedom.
“This past week highlighted the prevalence of organised crime around the world and our need as crime stoppers to continue being a step ahead of the criminals who drive it. We aim to provide delegates with the latest trends and workable ideas and initiatives that they can take back to their communities,” said Abramjee.
“This is also an opportunity for us to showcase the various organisations and NGOs that form part of the Southern African crime fighting community. We will also be inviting our counterparts from other parts of Africa with the view of incorporating them into the CSI fold,” Abramjee added.
This past week delegates heard that tip-offs from members of the public were proving to be more effective than conventional methods to fight crime.
The establishment of dedicated anonymous tip-off lines in CSI member countries have shown significant reductions in crime. It has additionally served to strengthen and improve relations between the public, police and the media.
General Moonoo, Head of the SAPS’ Detective Service said:  “We urge communities to continue passing on tip-offs. The power is indeed in the hands of the people as this information helps us to bring criminals to book. We can’t hope to make an impact without the support of everyone – crime affects us all.”
Colonel Dr Lamprecht who runs the Crime Stop programme said SA continues to make “great strides” and tip-off volumes were increasing.
Oosthuizen said initiatives such as Drug Watch – a Crime Line partnership with the SAPS, Lead SA and the Community Police Board of Gauteng showed how effective tip-offs and police action can be. Over 27 000 arrests have been recorded since 27 June in Gauteng.
She added that over recent months especially more detailed tip-offs were also coming in about other crimes.
Members of the public can send detailed anonymous tip-offs to Crime Line’s 32211 SMS service (Costs R1), call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or submit tip-offs online at
NOTE TO EDITORS: Please find a photograph attached with the following caption:

From left:  CSI President, Alex MacDonald; Divisional Commissioner: Detective Service, Lieutenant-General Vinesh Moonoo; Crime Stoppers Barbados Chairwoman, Julie Dash, Head of Crime Line and CSI Vice-President, Yusuf Abramjee; Crime Line Coordinator, Marisa Oosthuizen and Crime Stop Station Commander, Colonel Dr Attie Lamprecht. 
Media enquiries can be directed to or Yusuf Abramjee on 082 441 4203. Kindly note the time difference between South Africa and Barbados when you place your call: 
For the latest news, breakthroughs and alerts follow @CrimeLineZA.

Remarks by President Jacob Zuma at the meeting with editors, bureau chiefs and political editors, Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House, Pretoria

Ministers, Deputy Ministers

Editors, Political Editors and Bureau Chiefs,

Senior Officials,


Good morning and thank you for joining us at this interaction.

We deemed it important for us to get together to chat informally, as our country heads towards celebrating 20 years of freedom.

South Africa is a much better place now that it was before 1994.

The media, both local and foreign, have contributed to the progress that South Africa has made in moving from a pariah state status to a thriving vibrant young democracy.

Before 1994, it seemed impossible that South Africa could make a successful transition to freedom and democracy and lay a firm foundation for national  reconciliation.

The country’s success has come about through the selfless contribution and commitment of thousands of South Africans to make this country work.

Working with many other sectors, we have a responsibility to strengthen and deepen democracy and to make South Africa a prosperous society with improved living standards for all.

We will not always agree on how to get to that prosperous society as government and the media or with other sectors too. But we are closer to consensus, because of the National Development Plan, which is one of the major achievements of the fourth democratic administration.

We may differ as well on the implementation of the National Development Plan and many other things. But that does not constitute a crisis or a problem.

Freedom of expression is one of the key achievements of our young democracy, the freedom to disagree and to be free to express that disagreement.

At the same time, we believe the media has a responsibility as well in a young democracy and a developing country like ours, to promote hope, nation building, development and unity.

We appreciate the role that the media is playing in our country already in this regard.

The Lead SA initiative is one such example. This initiative founded by Primedia Broadcasting and supported by the Independent Group of Newspapers aims to create an active citizenry which is in line with our National Development Plan.

Over the past three years, Lead SA has made a difference and continues to do so.

Earlier this year, I launched the Stop Rape campaign with Lead SA and the Department of Basic Education at a school in Cape Town.

Lead SA’s Drug Watch initiative between the South African Police Service and other partners is also making good inroads.

In Gauteng alone, over 20 000 people have been arrested and almost R12 million worth of drugs have been seized in just over two months. We need to take this initiative to other provinces.

Other media initiatives driven by Lead SAincludes;

  • Saving the Rhino
  • Supporting our national sporting teams
  • Singing Happy Birthday for Madiba
  •  Supporting Mandela Day.

In addition, the Crime Line tip off service is making excellent inroads in the fight against crime.

Lead SA and the Department of Arts and Culture will launch a build up to 20 years of freedom on the 20th of September.

One of the activities to be launched is Freedom Friday- with  the call is on citizens to wear anything that makes them feel South African each Friday.

The SABC also runs a successful nation building programme, Touching Lives, which has changed the lives of many through exposing their plight.

Etv/ENCA run popular programmes such asHeroes which has showcased many hardworking teachers, police officers and many other South Africans who make a difference every day. Another popular programme is the show Against all Odds which promotes individual action to overcome adversity.

These initiatives show the other side of South African society, the caring, nation building side. They are a welcome addition to daily hard news offerings.

There is a lot of good work that is being done by many other sectors to make South Africa better place each day.

On HIV and AIDS we work together as many sectors – business, labour, government, sports, entertainment sectors and non-governmental organisations.

The result has been an impressive roll-out of treatment, an increase in life expectancy and progress that has impressed the United Nations whose UNAIDS programme continues to mention South Africa as a dramatic example of a turnaround in the fight against AIDS.

The media has played an important role in the campaign against AIDS over many years.

We also wish to acknowledge the contribution of the media to the campaign against corruption.

While many corruption cases arise from government investigations, many others came about through the hard work of the media.

We are satisfied that we have enough instruments in the country to help us fight this scourge.

We have the Chapter 9 institutions which are among the successes of our Constitutional democracy, for example the Office of the Public Protector, the Office of the Auditor General and the South African Human Rights Commission to name a few, which work hard to promote clean governance and accountability within the public service.

To promote coordination we have also established the Multi-Agency Working Group to investigate  supply chain management practices and also the Anti- Corruption Task Team within the Justice, Crime and Prevention Security Cluster whose mandate is to fast-track high-priority and high-profile corruption cases.

This team comprises the heads of the National Treasury, the Directorate Priority Crime Investigation or the Hawks, the Special Investigation Unit, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, and representatives of other institutions, such as the Financial Intelligence Centre, the NPA’s Special Commercial Crimes Unit, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the SA Revenue Services.

More importantly, we wish to thank members of the public who contribute to the promotion of clean governance through whistle blowing to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline, run by the Public Service Commission.

A total of 17 110 cases of alleged corruption have been generated between September 2004 and last Saturday, 31 August 2013 through the Hotline, and there is a gradual increase in the recovery of money and the number of disciplinary sanctions taken against the perpetrators.

We are pleased that the successful investigation of cases has resulted in the recovery of 330 million rand from perpetrators since the inception of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline.

A total of 2 638 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities between 01 September 2004 and 31 August 2013.

At the provincial level, a total of 1 728 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities whilst 910 officials were found guilty of misconduct for corrupt activities at national departments. A total of 491 officials were suspended and 1 600 were dismissed from the Public Service.

In other figures, 256 officials were fined a three months salary, 31 officials were demoted, 541   officials were given final written warning and 210   officials were prosecuted.

We sincerely thank the public for this contribution to promoting clean governance.

Ladies and gentlemen

I will this afternoon travel to Russia to attend the G20 forum meeting.

It is envisaged that the Summit will focus on a set of measures aimed at boosting sustainable, inclusive and balanced global growth, including the creation of decent jobs.

During its tenure as G20 President, Russia has focused its work on three priorities to promote;

·         Growth through quality jobs and investment;

·         Growth through trust and transparency; and

·         Growth through effective regulation.

A BRICS Leaders’ meeting will also be held on the margins of the G20 Leaders Summit.

The meeting will afford BRICS leaders an opportunity to reflect on the progress made with regards to the implementation of the Durban Declaration, especially as it pertains to the New Development Bank and the Currency Reserve Arrangement.

Of course the G20 takes place during a volatile climate economically and also with regards to peace and security because of the situation in Syria and Egypt.

We will continue to promote multilateral solutions to international security challenges and to uphold the supremacy of the United Nations Security Council in dealing with global peace and security issues.

Ladies and gentlemen

Today’s occasion is more for information sharing between ourselves. We trust that you will find the discussions fruitful during the course of the morning.

I thank you.

My take on General Riah Phiyega’s announcement that Lt General Mzwandile Petros was being replaced

706x410q70stephen-petros-subbedM(1)This is my take on General Riah Phiyega’s announcement that Lt General Mzwandile Petros was being replaced as Gauteng police commissioner by Lt General Mondli Zuma:

Firstly, I think replacing Petros is a mistake. I have said it publicly and I repeat it.

Petros is a dedicated and committed police officer. He was committed to fighting crime and corruption. He must be credited for starting sector policing in Gauteng after running a pilot project in the Western Cape. It’s now national.

Petros took no nonsense. He constantly came down hard on his members – and that’s why I am not surprised the unions are happy seeing him go.

I’ve worked closely with Petros especially in my role as head of Crime Line and chairman of the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT). Lead SA has also engaged him on initiatives such as Drug Watch.

Petros valued partnerships with civil society and the community at large.

The Gauteng Community Police Board also wanted Petros to stay. It’s chairman, Andy Mashaile, is also on record as saying CPF’s wanted to retain Petros as the provinces number one cop.

Phiyega’s announcement today that Zuma was to replace Petros with immediate effect took many by surprise.

Within an hour, reports starting emerging that Zuma was facing a criminal charge for drinking and driving.

Phiyega said later she was not aware of this.

It has to be asked: How can our country’s top cop not have been aware that one of her trusted officers was awaiting trial?

EWN’s Mandy Weiner tweeted: “@MandyWiener: Lots of noise about new GP Commissioner Mondli Zuma’s role in the Shell House shooting too – NB he was granted amnesty by the TRC.”

I asked the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee in Parliament, Annelize van Wyk, on Twitter, what her take was on Zuma’s appointment.

Her response:
“@annelizevanwyk: It undermines the integrity message.”

Phiyega said earlier Lt Gen Zuma “is the epitome of a professional police officer.”

The DA and others have good reason to question Phiyega’s decision to appoint Zuma, who by the way is reportedly not related to President Jacob Zuma.

Surely, Phiyega needed to have done her homework before appointing Zuma. One has to wonder whether her political bosses ordered her to appoint Zuma, who was in-charge of the police at ORT International
Airport. He holds the rank of Major-General and is now a Lt General.

Phiyega has embarrassed herself and the police service.
It’s decisions like these that take the credibility of the police to even lower levels.

How can the community support Gauteng’s new top cop who has a cloud over his head?

I have reliably learned that some senior Gauteng cops are disillusioned following today’s announcement. The leadership of the Community Safety Board is also unhappy.

It may be argued that Zuma has not been convicted. Yes. But with such controversy, he should not have even been considered for this job.

We expected better from Phiyega and her bosses. You have messed up!

If you want the people of Gauteng to support the police, make the right decisions.

Let’s accept Petros is leaving and wish him well.

But, let his successor be credible, clean, non-controversial and a real crime and corruption fighter – not a controversial figure facing a criminal charge.

-This is my personal view.

Remember when Madiba turned 88?

Madiba & Yusuf

I was going through some of my old columns I wrote for the Pretoria News and came across this one, which was published on his 88th birthday. I thought I’d share this with you as we keep Tata, who is still in hospital, in our prayers. Let’s also all do our 67 minutes of community service as we celebrate Mandela Day on his birthday next week Thursday. Have a great weekend. 


Today, former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela turns 88. He and Graca Machel are also celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary.

            It is indeed a special day for Madiba and his family. But, it is also a special day for people around South Africa, and in fact around the world. We need to pay special tribute to him as he celebrates his birthday.

            Mandela is the father of our nation. He is our living icon. As a leader, he is respected around the globe. Madiba holds a special place in the hearts of millions of people.

            In the run up to his release, after spending 27 years in prison, few people could picture the face of Mandela. I clearly remember the day when he was released – Sunday 11 February 1990. I was working as a reporter and was deployed to the Grand Parade in Cape Town for his first public appearance. Those visuals will remain with me for the rest of my life. This was the day that changed the face of South Africa.

            Over the years I’ve also had the honour of meeting Madiba, both in private and in public. This is a remarkable man. He is a true human being.  He is kind, sincere and humble. For many he will always remain as one of the best loved heroes.

            Three specific meetings with Madiba come to mind. I was part of a small group invited to enjoy breakfast with him at his official residence in Pretoria before he retired as our country’s president. Some years back he visited one of our radio stations, and last year I met him at his Houghton office to record an interview. On all these occasions he was razor-sharp and kept his sense of humour. He always conducts himself with grace, and his qualities of love, respect and care are constantly portrayed.

            Despite being retired, the plight of South Africa’s people remains close to his heart. Whether it is the building of schools or clinics, assisting under-privileged children or creating awareness around HIV/Aids, Mandela is still active. 

           His legacy especially that of forgiveness will remain with us forever. He left prison with no hatred or revenge, and extended his hand of goodwill to all South Africans. Many world leaders, especially those in countries where conflict is rife, can take a page out of Madiba’s book. You only have to read our newspapers or follow radio or TV news to realise just how lucky we are. While nations grapple with their futures, Madiba has charted a course for us that is the envy of many. Not in our wildest dreams could we have hoped for the country in which we now live.  Sure there are problems, and there is work to do.

            However, think back to the time of Madiba’s release when South Africa was on a knife-edge. With all the racial divisions of our history, the possibility of a civil war was not far away. Thanks to Mandela’s contribution, we are where we are today.

            The former president never answered racism with racism. He brought peace to our land. We should never forget that he was the man who scarified his private life and his youth for all of us.

            We hope that Mandela really starts enjoying his retirement. He must continue to spend valuable time with his family. He needs peace and quiet. But, despite turning 88, Mandela is still young at heart.

            Tata, you are a man of wisdom. You are an inspiration to millions around the world. We will never forget your contribution to our country. South Africa is blessed to have you. We pray that you enjoy many more birthdays.

           Someone asked me at the weekend if I had one wish for Madiba, what would it be?  Well, I hope and pray that he will be able to join our nation, and the world as we celebrate the staging of the 2010 Fifa World Cup on our soil.

            Happy Birthday and happy eighth wedding anniversary!

Madiba: Let’s Show Some Respect


Our beloved former President, Nelson Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital yesterday.

The world media has turned the spotlight on our country and messages of support are pouring in from all corners of the globe.

It is sad and disappointing  to see some, especially on social media, being grossly insensitive. They say there is no need to pray for Tata and others say let him die.

Yes Madiba is old and yes he will not live forever, but in respect to the family and millions of people who hold him dear, there is no place for insensitivity.

I tweeted earlier today: “@Abramjee: Some of the comments about #Madiba are so insensitive. Let’s show respect.”

Someone responded:

” FREEDOM of speech rules the world my friend, how it is.”

What we conveniently forget is with freedom of speech and expression comes responsibility.

Let’s be sensitive and show respect. I agree with this tweet… “@craigbjacobs: Whether you were in prison with him or a Brit right winger, I’m not interested in your thoughts on Mandela. Can’t we just reflect and pray.”

Let’s be sensitive and let’s show respect. Those who make inappropriate comments must hang their heads in shame.

Get well Madiba. I am joining millions around the world and saying a prayer.


Update on the R511/M26 Road


I’ve received many queries about the R511/M26 road between Erasmia and Diepsloot. The contractor abandoned the work last year after digging up about 4km of the tarmac. Road conditions are very poor.

Here is a update from Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC, Ismail Vadi:

Dear Yusuf, 

The factual position is as follows:

The Department terminated the contract due to poor/unsatisfactory performance of the contractor. 

On this score, it acted in the public interest.  

The Department has extended the scope of work (for further improvements on the road), which has additional budgetary implications.

An application has been made to Provincial Treasury for additional funding and the Department is awaiting a decision from Treasury.

The Department cannot proceed with the revised tender until there is authorisation from Treasury. This is a legal requirement.   

I hope this clarifies the matter.