Lusikisiki – As the community of Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape battles the scourge of crime, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula vowed on Saturday to do everything in his power to root out criminals from the town.
He announced that the new police station, which will be operational from August in Lusikisiki, will be allocated more resources including vehicles and horses, and all the units in the South African Police Service (SAPS) will be present at the police station.
The Minister said this during a Siyahlola Presidential Monitoring Programme visit to the area on Saturday. The visit was led by President Jacob Zuma, who brought with him several Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
The Premier of the Eastern Cape, Phumulo Masualle, and some members of his executive were also in attendance.
Lusikisiki, situated just outside Mthatha, has been suffering from a sudden spike in crimes such as robbery, murder, domestic violence and rape. Lately, there have been reports of gangsterism, with the emergence of a feared group known as Amavondo, which is reportedly terrorising the community.
Recently, members of the community had accused police of inaction and beat up two members of the gang who were later burnt to death. On Saturday, President Zuma condemned the action and urged community members not to take part in mob justice and instead report cases to the police. He promised all the social problems in the area will be addressed and that he will send Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu to the area to meet with small businesses as part of trying to grow the town’s economy.
Saturday’s visit by the President was aimed at interacting with the community to address the issue of crime and service delivery issues. President Zuma, who spoke in isiZulu and isiXhosa, chaired a meeting in which community members raised issues ranging from crime to a shortage of water, housing and employment.
Those who reported on the work they are doing to attend to the challenges in Lusikisiki included Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, who outlined what is being done by her department and supporting cooperatives. Initiatives by cooperatives include a sewing project aimed at delivering school uniforms to poor learners.
Premier Masualle reported to the President that the N2 highway project will create jobs for the locals to ease the burden of unemployment.
President Zuma said he will have a meeting with several Ministers affected in the string of issues raised at Saturday’s Siyahlola meeting and that all issues will be attended to.
Minister Mbalula will return to Lusikisiki in July to ensure that all the immediate interventions are implemented and that the necessary preparations are in place for the opening of the new police station on 1 August.