Blowing the whistle against crime – annual commemoration of the 16th day of activism

On Saturday 23rd Nov 2019, community residents from Wadeville, Leondale, Roodebult and Rondebult all got together with the South African Police Services, local CPF and the Department of Education. They were joined by other role players in the community including the  South African National Council on Alcoholism’ (SANCA);  Victim Empowerment Centre (VEC);  Department of Social Development; representatives from the Rondebult and Leondale Clinics; Sukuma Sakhe and a host of elderly community residents.

The event was specifically organised to raise awareness around the importance of blowing the whistle against crime, particularly relevant on the eve of the annual commemoration of the ’16 Days of Activism’ campaign for No Violence against Women and Children, which kicked off nationally this week on 25 November.

Recently released statistics show that the fight against the abuse of our women and children is far from over. In fact, it appears that there has not been a significant decrease in sexual assaults, with women-headed urban households more likely to be attacked, and 43% of women reporting feeling unsafe.

Linda Goodenough, Community Development manager for Fidelity ADT says the private security provider works extremely closely with the various role players in the community and was instrumental in assisting with the day. “It is concerning that the crimes that are reported at Alberton SAPS for these specific areas are predominantly contact crimes like assault and rape which is domestic related or as a result of substance abuse. As a community we felt the day was extremely important to urge the community to report these crimes – to blow the whistle against crime and become more vigilant so that we have more eyes and the ears in the community.”

SAPS Alberton, CPF and Fidelity ADT reached out to the victims of crime and the possible victims in the future.  The message was clear – no matter what age and gender, the victims of crime must be treated with dignity and respect by SAPS and the community at large.

“It is important people know what to look for and when they suspect that one of their own is the victim of abuse and crime they need to know what to do.  As Fidelity ADT we had the opportunity to speak about bullying at home, at school at work – creating an awareness against abuse which we are very grateful for.”

The day started with a march by the SAPS, community members and Fidelity ADT to the central meeting point. The programme then covered various talks on drug abuse, HIV AIDS, tuberculosis, bullying, abuse and domestic violence. An inspiring guest speaker on the day was Kgaogelo Mojela who wrote a book called “Break out – Break loose – Break free. Mojela shared her brave personal life story and her own journey to breaking free, and taking control of her destiny.

The day was closed with some entertainment. “The lasting message was that the action we least want to take is probably going to affect us the most.  There will always be obstacles but we get to choose what kind of life we want to lead so we need to embrace the discomfort and live positively,” she concludes.