Using technology to combat crime in South Africa

With the multitude of emergency numbers available in South Africa getting help is not as clear cut as it should be.

Adding to the frustration is the time wasted due to the lack of information available to the emergency operator.

They don’t know who you are, or where you are.

Namola, a free emergency safety app, supported by Dialdirect Insurance, takes the hassle out of getting help in an emergency.

The moment a Namola user pushes the button to request assistance, the app sends through the user’s GPS location and emergency profile so that the user’s dedicated Namola operator knows immediately where the user is and who they are. With a quick confirmation of the nature of the emergency, the Namola operator will then coordinate the right help for the emergency and send the user the help they need.

Thanks to innovative thinking, Namola uses technology to ensure that you are able to get help, no matter the scenario. For example, if a user can’t speak, Namola’s in-app chat feature allows an alternative method of communication with the Namola operator and the first responders. Even if the user is on the move, the GPS location will constantly be updated, giving South Africans peace of mind that no matter what the situation, they can let someone know that they need help.

Namola knows that every emergency is different. In addition to having over 1400 geofenced control rooms on their database, Namola has added counselling services, social workers and community safety initiatives to the ways South Africans can get help.

Recently, the company launched their latest innovation, Namola Watch, which allows established Neighbourhood Watch teams to respond to reported incidents in their communities faster than before.

“Namola has changed the way that we are able to respond to emergencies in our community,” says Graham Holmquist of Riga Rescue, a Namola Watch Responder.

”Knowing the type as well as the exact coordinates of the emergency cuts down time and allows us to give help faster than before. Whenever we get to the scene of an emergency that has not been reported via Namola, we ensure as many people on scene download the Namola App there and then.”

Namola encourages South Africans not only to get help for themselves with Namola, but to use it as a trusted resource to get others in your community help.

“It’s great to see that so many people are using Namola to report emergencies on behalf of others,” says Maanda Tshifularo, Head of Namola’s sponsor, Dialdirect Insurance. ”We love that Namola is fast becoming the tool of choice to combat crime and make communities in South Africa a safer place to live.”

Namola is available as a free download at namola.co/sfa

*Yusuf Abramjee is the Chief Ambassador for the Namola/DialDirect safety app and an anti-crime activist.

SHALLCROSS COMMUNITY UNITES TO FIGHT CRIME AND IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday 12 September 2018

SHALLCROSS COMMUNITY UNITES TO FIGHT CRIME AND IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY

The business community of Shallcross outside Durban met with the leaders of the “Bottle Brush” informal settlement, the Deputy Mayor of eThekwini, municipal officials, civic leaders, senior police officers, representatives of the community policing forum and anti-crime activists to discuss safety, security and service delivery issues.

The meeting was hosted by the Oasis Group, owners of the Mall, The Ridge @ Shallcross.

Deputy Chairperson of Oasis, Nazeem Ebrahim, said the issues affecting residents of the informal settlement had to be addressed “with urgency.”

Some of the problems include poor lighting, lack of police visibility, dumping of refuse, and protest action against the lack of service delivery which contributed to the false perception that the area is not safe.

Ebrahim said the mall “was extremely safe. Not a single robbery or theft of vehicles have been reported over the past few years. We pride ourselves on providing our shoppers with top security,” he said.

Ebrahim said the business community had to form partnerships at all levels “to assist in developing communities and creating safer neighbourhoods. We need to work together as community members and that requires that we also stand together to ensure that everyone has access to basic services. We have co-existed next to Bottle Brush for a number of years and they, together with the residents in the surrounding areas, are our shoppers and we value them. Living in an informal settlement does not mean you are associated with crime, and we need to dispel these references and move away from giving each other these labels. We are all part of the community and all of us want a safe environment and where one part of our community is affected, we all need to step in and help them”

Lucky Zulu, one of the leaders of “Bottle Brush” echoed Ebrahim’s sentiments saying that the Mall and the community have an inter-dependant relationship and cooperation is an imperative.

Deputy Mayor of eThekwini, Councillor Fawzia Peer, said the issues raised by the community were being addressed.

The municipality said high-rise electricity masts are to be erected in the informal settlement. The electrification of the area will also start in phases.

Residents called for more police visibility along the Link Road. The Community Police Forum and the SAPS undertook to finalize a programme.

“Patrollers along the road is an option and we are looking at it,” said Peer.

A call was also made for a pedestrian bridge. The municipality undertook to explore it.

She said the The Ridge @ Shallcross has offered her department the installation of CCTV cameras to monitor the area “which we welcome and appreciate.”

Elvis Govender, Chairman of the Moorten Chatsworth Community Policing Forum said that “service delivery by the municipality needs to be prioritised in the provision of waste removal facilities and services”.

Falakhe Mhlongo, Secretary of the Ward Committee agreed that having a dedicated bin collection space be considered and that he would engage the Bottle Brush community to relocate some of the informal dwellings to enable services by the municipality.

Social Activist, Yusuf Abramjee, said it was necessary for all sectors of society to work together.

“We have to promote social cohesion. We also agreed to look at ways of assisting the ‘Bottle Brush’ community with social programmes.”

Abramjee appealed to residents to use the Namola/Dial Direct Safety App to report crime. It can be downloaded for free.

He said residents should also use the app to report illegal electricity connections. “We have a problem in this area also and the power often goes out because of the illegal connections.

“We will pass the information on to the eThekwini municipality and ask them to act,” said Abramjee.

He thanked the management and tenants of the The Ridge@ Shallcross mall for “being proactive and making a difference. This is Ubuntu in action.”

Community leaders from “Bottle Brush” thanked the mall and Peer for taking their concerns seriously and promised to work hand-in-hand to improve conditions.

Mahendra Lillkant, chairperson of the Shallcross Community Police Forum said: “On behalf of the sector, I would like to thank the Oasis Group for meeting with the community and we look forward to forming a partnership to decrease crime in the area. We would like for more businesses to come on board and strengthen this partnership as together we can make a difference.”

End

Enquiries:

Oasis Group
Moosa Akoodie
021 413 7860

Yusuf Abramjee, has opened criminal charges against a man for inciting violence and hatred on social media.

Sunday 12 March 2017
MEDIA UPDATE:
Social cohesion advocate and anti-crime activist, Yusuf Abramjee, has opened criminal charges against a man for inciting violence and hatred on social media.
Abramjee, accompanied by Andy Mashaile, former Gauteng Community Police Board member, and an attorney, visited the Brooklyn Police Station to open charges charges against Obatala Mcambi at 11am today.
Mcambi posted on his Facebook page: “I use my guns to rob and kill Indians & Whites. Please fellas, join me, we have to rape their kids with AIDS virus too!” (SIC). He later posted “Kill the pigs.”
Abramjee gave police copies of the man’s Facebook profile and screenshots of the posts. Mcambi poses with firearms and in one photo the serial number appears filed off. He also boasts large sums of cash on some of his photos.
“I appeal to the South African Police Services to immediately investigate this matter and bring the person/persons responsible for the hate speech, incitement to violence and intimidation to justice.
“I further request that a charge of hate speech, incitement and intimidation be opened and thoroughly investigated,” Abramjee added.
Speaking to the media outside the police station, Abramjee said: “We are sick and tired of this nonsense. The law must come down hard on people like Mcambi.
“He must be tracked down. Police must investigate the matter as one of urgency and we also need to establish whether Mcambi is his real name,” Abramjee said.
He said the posts have caused widespread anger. “People are also opening charges in other areas.”

Charges being opened at the Brooklyn Police Station today.

Mashatile said “there is no place for racism and hatred. We are all one. We want this person hunted down, arrested, charges and punished. I came here to provide an affidavit to police to support the charges opened by Yusuf, a fellow #TurnBackCrime ambassador.”

Legal representative Adila Alli said: “I decided to join in and make a statement also. This person must be arrested. These posts are unacceptable.”
Abramjee said the various posts have since been deleted from the man’s Facebook page. “Scores of people reported him to Facebook.”
“Mcambi updated his profile picture at 10.26pm last night with a photo of him with a revolver in his hand,” he added.
End

ADDRESS BY YUSUF ABRAMJEE, SOCIAL COHESION ADVOCATE

NOTES: ADDRESS BY YUSUF ABRAMJEE, SOCIAL COHESION ADVOCATE

Muslim Judicial Council
72nd anniversary: Cape Town.
Friday 10 February 2017

Congratulations to the MJC – celebrating 72 years of serving the community. We salute the leadership of the council and we wish you well.

I want to focus on a few current issues:

It is disgraceful and hurtful to see Islamophobia on the rise – locally and internationally.

Hatred for Muslims from some quarters is on the increase and the time has come for citizens to stand up, promote religious tolerance and take a stand against those who are targeting Islam.

Islam is a religion of peace. Those who carry out violence, promote discord and hatred and kill the innocent in the name of our religion should be condemned and criticized at every corner. We need to ensure that we promote peace, love, reconciliation and compassion.

We as South African Muslims should celebrate the fact that we enjoy religious freedom. Our Constitution guarantees us that. Although we are a minority in this country, we are able to exercise our religious rights freely and openly and that is something to be proud of. It’s something to celebrate.

The recent attacks on three Mosques in the Western Cape is a disgrace. We strongly condemn the acts of those who want to sow division, promote religious intolerance and those who are out to destabilize our communities. We say: Shame on you. You will not succeed by throwing pigs heads and blood in our places of worship.

My message to the culprits is clear: You will not succeed in your evil quest of tarnishing our religion. We remain hopeful that the law will come down hard on you – sooner or later. You nameless and faceless individuals should need be arrested, convicted and punished. You will eventually be exposed.

It is concerning for us as Muslims to see an increase in objections to Mosques in many areas of South Africa. There seems to be a movement at work mobilizing to try to stop the building of Muslim places of worship. We have seen it in areas like Valhalla in Pretoria, Sandton and Buccleau and now Atholl in northern Johannesburg.

The objectors use traffic and noise levels as a disguise to oppose the erection of Mosques. These same objectors will not make a noise when bottle stores, casinos and prostitution dens open right in their neighborhoods. But they mobilize when Muslims want to pray. This is a sad indictment on society. The time has come for all of us to show religious tolerance and to respect each other’s religions. We need Mosques, Churches, Temples and Synagogues side by side. We need to allow everyone the opportunity to pray and to exercise their religious freedoms. This will take us forward!

We need to respect all religions.

This week, I again saw a number of posts on social media in South Africa by individuals criticizing Muslims and Islam, insulting our beloved Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and calling us, Muslims names.

I don’t want to repeat some of the things said…It is sickening and nauseating. Such foul, nasty and odious attacks on our religion must stop. Institutions such as the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), CRL Commission and the Equality Court must act decisively and with urgency and stop the hatred which which is being spitted out by some. They need to take stern action against those individuals who cause religious and cultural divisions. We need protection and we need it now.

Early last year, I reported a number of individuals, during the height of the Valhalla Mosque Row to the CRL Commission for their Islamophobic comments on social media. They linked us to ISIS, Al Queda and Boko Haram.

Many months later, I am still waiting for a ruling. I also reported a CRL Commissioner. We are still waiting for a ruling! The delays are unacceptable.

The CRL Rights Commission is a constitutional body established in terms of the South African Constitution of 1996. Its constitutional mandate is to strengthen our constitutional democracy. But we need this Commission to act decisively to promote our religious, cultural and linguistic rights. We need them to be effective and I repeat: protect us. That’s what our Constitution dictates.

Social cohesion needs to be promoted at every turn. It is the responsibly to of every citizen to do their bit. The time has come for all of us to promote the philosophy of active citizenry. This means we have to all stand up for our rights and roll up our sleeves.

Recently, a young Cape Town woman was turned down from joining the South Africa Navy because she wears a Hijab. This is not right. It’s unacceptable. Individuals who want to exercise their religious obligations should be accommodated.

I remain hopeful that the Navy will review its decision and allow Muslims women such as Taskeen Ebrahim to wear her Hijab with pride. I know the MJC has taken up her plight and I hope we will succeed.

The so-called “Muslim Ban” by US President Donald Trump continues to draw attention and anger across the world. Trump, who clearly dislikes Mexicans and Muslims, is playing right into the hands of extremists. He is sadly giving them reason to continue carrying out acts of evil. We need bridges, not walls. We need love, not hate. Refugees seek refugee and shelter, not resentment or stigma. Trump is clearly xenophobic and we as South African Muslims join the world chorus to call on him to stop his madness. There is no place on our world for division and racism.

Let’s all continue to do our bit to make the world a better place. Let’s join hands and unite. Let’s work together to promote peace, goodwill and social cohesion. Let’s help those in need.

We have to unite. Our religious leaders must lead the way to fight social ills. Drugs, for example, are killing our people. Let’s use our podiums to inform and educate our congregations.

Crime is on the increase. It’s time for all of us to work together and reclaim our streets from the gangsters.

We need organizations like the MJC to use their wisdom to guide the jammatul Muslimeen on practical ways of applying what the former President of the MJC calls the “fiqh of citizenship.”

This is a powerful concept of teaching Muslims how to be responsible pro-active citizens. It instills social activism from an informed perspective. It promotes a Muslim citizenry aware of the power of influence and not just the influence of power. It helps in developing a caring, engaged Muslim citizenry using excellence to serve all of mankind. That is the practice of the seerah of our beloved Prophet (PBUH). That is the practice to profile our identity in a multi faith society. A practice to model the values of the Deen. A practice to advance our freedom in a culture fair way. It is time to “politicise our spirituality and spiritualise our politics” in a pro-active way.

Let’s promote intra-Muslim solidarity and economic development and support and empower our community with the life skills to walk with self assuredness as Muslims underpinned by humility.

Let me conclude by saying: All Muslims are not terrorists and extremists. We promote peace and we will continue to do so.

End

With kind regards

Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203
Twitter: @abramjee

A new multi-million rand state of the art library has opened it doors in Lansdowne Cape Town.

A new multi-million rand state of the art library has opened it doors in Lansdowne Cape Town.
The Al Ikhlaas Academia Library and Resource Centre was officially opened by Deputy Education Minister Enver Surtee.

Social activist, Yusuf Abramjee, presented copies of his coffee table book #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj to the library and to Surtee.

He said hundreds of copies would be donated to libraries across South Africa.

Abramjee announced that he and his publisher Yaseen Theba were looking at launching two new books in 2017- one on the Holy City of Makkah and another on Madinah.

“We will capture the sights and sounds of both cities: the Grand Mosque, Prophet’s Mosque, historical sites, market places, etc.

“We also looking to having the book in other languages including Arabic,” said Abramjee.

#Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj has over 400 photographs of this years pilgrimage.

Scores of books are being donated to libraries.

Proceeds of the sale of the book are going to charities Awqaf SA and Crescent Lifestyle.

*More on the library: call Dr Elias Parker, chairperson,  on +27 (82) 4939331.

Photos: Sharief Jaffer

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WATER CRISIS: ZAKARIYYA PARK/VLAKFONTEIN/LEHAE: RESIDENTS CALL FOR URGENT ACTION

MEDIA STATEMENT
TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2016

WATER CRISIS: ZAKARIYYA PARK/VLAKFONTEIN/LEHAE: RESIDENTS CALL FOR URGENT ACTION

Residents of Zakariyya Park, Vlakfontein and Lehae near Lenasia have called on the City of Johannesburg to urgently resolve their water woes.

They have also requested an urgent meeting with Mayor Herman Mashaba and residents have called an urgent public meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening.

Since the beginning of November, the three areas have been experiencing severe water stoppages.

Over the past two weeks, the situation has worsened and most taps are dry.

Residents says they have phoned Joburg Water repeatedly with no joy.

“We are given excuse after excuse for the water cuts and the low pressure
including that the reservoir is dry, the level of the Vaal Dam is low and the infrastructure is damaged,”
said spokesperson for residents, Junaid Hussain.

Residents says they have contacted their ward councillor Ace Mokenyane.

“Two weeks later, we are still waiting for assistance,” added Hussain.

One of the worst hit areas is Zakariyya Park Combined School where teaching and learning is affected.

Learners are being released from school early every day  because of the health risks.

“This is impacting on effective learning and teaching.

“School Principal T.F.Masher has been constantly phoning the water department to place water tankers at the school since the problem began. None have been provided to date,” said an educator at the school.

Local resident Pastor Krish Matura has appealed to residents to stand united in resolving the crisis.

Vlakfontein resident Zanele Ndlovu says she is frustrated. “Only some homes have water in my area and others are dry.”

Residents are furious and anger is growing by the hour.

“We are being ignored and people are fed-up. We also call on the Gauteng Government and National Dept of Water to assist us,” said Resident Sameer Yousuff.

He said tankers were deployed to the area but supply is not enough and people have to wait in long queues.

A delegation of residents approached social activist Yusuf Abramjee to assist them urgently.

In a series of tweets, Abramjee (@abramjee) called on Mayor Mashaba and the City of Johannesburg to urgently resolve the water crisis.

“Water is a basic human right. Yes, we have a drought and we all have to all save water. But these communities are suffering and their taps keep on running dry. Joburg Water needs to address the problem with urgency,”
Abramjee said.

He said he informed Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokhonyane of the problem who said “it has to be resolved with Joburg Water.”

Abramjee appealed to Mayor Mashaba to “meet with residents and resolve the crisis.”

Enquiries:

Junaid Hussain
07716761798

Sameer Yousuff 0727862991

Yusuf Abramjee presented #Hajj2016 to Sports Minister Mbalula

Social activist Yusuf Abramjee presented a copy of his coffee table book #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula & his wife Nozuko today. One copy was presented to their daughter Nonkululeko (10) for St Stithians College Library.

Hundreds of books are to be donated to libraries and proceeds of the book are going to charity. The book has 400 photographs taken from a camera phone of the pilgrimage.

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