Take out the drug dealers says Manuel

Johannesburg – National Planning Commission Minister, Trevor Manuel, has called on South Africans to mobilise against drugs in celebration of Mandela Day.

Addressing Crime Line’s anniversary celebrations in Fourways on Tuesday, Manuel noted the impact drugs were having on South African families.

“Drugs are not just about consumption and sale, it is about the destruction of families,” said Manuel.

Entire families and communities were often caught together in the downward spiral that came with drugs.

“It is the cause of drug wars. It is the cause of gangsterism. We must get to the root and to ensure we uplift our communities again,” he said.

Manuel called on the media to mobilise South Africans to identify drug dealers and pass that information on to authorities as a collective Mandela Day initiative.

Police and communities need to work hard to fight the scourge of drug abuse and the destruction it was causing, he said.

Police would not succeed in their important task unless there was support and involvement from every member of South African society, Manuel added.

He stressed the need for active citizenship, saying it would produce results.

Fighting crime was a collective responsibility, he said. “To the men and women in the police service, we will never abandon you. It’s not a war you can succeed in on your own,” the minister added.

Manuel also highlighted the need for continuity, saying South Africans could not only look back on the success in the past.

“The nature of the struggle is very different but the struggle is continuous,” he said.

Head of Crime Line Yusuf Abramjee noted that 80 % of tip-offs to Crime Line were drug related, an indication that more needed to be done to stop the scourge.

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He appealed to the National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega to consider re-introducing a specialised narcotics unit to deal with the problem effectively.

In the past five years tip-offs to the Crime Line had led to more than 3 000 arrests and more than R 41 million in seizures (including that of stolen, counterfeit goods and drugs).

This included tip-offs that led to the arrest of some of the most wanted criminals, murderers, rapists, hijackers and ATM bombers.

“It’s not enough. This figure is far too low. We need more tip-offs from the community. I want to say to the public of South Africa, don’t be scared, break your silence and let’s retake our streets.”

He reiterated that the fight against crime was the responsibility of every South African. Phiyega also highlighted the need for partnerships, saying police officers required the support of all South Africans.

“It is only through working together that more can be done to ensure success. Alone we can do so little as SAPS, together we can do so much, hence my belief in the principle of more,” she said.

Phiyega also took time to acknowledge the deaths of the five police officers killed in the line of duty since her appointment. “One slain police officer is one too many,” she added.

She acknowledged increasing participation of communities in reporting crime and applauded South Africans for their bravery.

The anonymous crime tip-off services celebrated its 5th anniversary at Montecasino, Fourways on Tuesday.

Crime Line also introduced inaugural annual awards to mark its 5th anniversary and was presented to major role players and partners in the fight against crime.

Abramjee encouraged South Africans to continue submitting to tip-offs to Crime Line by SMSing 32211, online at www.crimeline.co.za or making use of Crime Stop on 08600 10111. – SAnews.gov.za

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