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The department of Transport Safety and Liaison in partnership with Emalahleni Local Municipality and other sector departments hosted the Safety Imbizo in Lady Frere in Maqhashu village.
The safety imbizo was arranged to give an opportunity to the communities of ward 17 to engage the security cluster departments on how they view the manner they are given services on a daily basis. The Imbizo was targeted at getting the customer perspective on what should be done to best serve people based on their submissions and advices

The South African Police Services local police station made a presentation indicating on their community safety programme followed by the National Prosecutions Authority, Department of Correctional Services, Safety and Liaison and the Department of Social Department closed the session.
Chief Thandisizwe Mhlontlo when doing the welcoming remarks said, “A traditional leader is like a pillar in our houses and everyone is at liberty to wipe his hands on him. One writer once said the only continent to get freedom last will be Africa, the freedom will need to be taken good care of as it did not come cheap but through the blood of the sons and daughters who died for this freedom”.
Mayor Councillor Nomveliso Nyukwana said during the programme, “We must build unity in our communities. We will pilot stability in this ward, that is the commitment we made with the MEC present. We must respect our traditional leaders.
“You will testify when things changed in this area as no one today denied the mistakes made here, you will bear testimony to what government have done. The sport against crime will involve youth at school and out of school”, said Mayor.

Honourable MEC for the Department of Transport Safety and Liaison Weziwe Tikana said this is the year to celebrate sixty years of the Freedom Charter. “We are committed to strengthen service delivery. As government we are committed in providing safe environment to our people”, she said.

“As communities we must ensure that we safeguard our schools by ensuring that they are not broken and computers provided by government stolen. We must remember that we contribute to theft when we are buying stolen goods. We must buy to the outlets that are meant for selling purposes, not to the thieves”, said MEC Tikana.

“We must safeguard our freedom. If we allow illegal liquor trading we are destroying the future our nation. In the taverns I visited there were no adults of your age there but the youth. It seems as if these taverns are meant for young people”, said MEC.

“This area was known for football but this time there are no sporting activities. The sporting activities must be revived in this area. All villages of ward 17 must have teams playing on the Mayoral Cup tournament. Chief Thandisizwe Mhlontlo with the office of Safety and Liaison must form a team in this area to participate on sport against crime programme”, said Tikana

Members of the public were given an opportunity to engage the panel on the presentations on the comments and question format. “I was at loggerheads with another man here in my village but the Community police Forum did not assist me as the man who stabbed me followed me to the police station when I went to report this incident. After sometimes the case was dropped without my knowledge. What will you do if you were in my position” the community member asked.

“When police are arresting someone are they not supposed to report to the traditional leader. At times when police are arresting a member of the community the youth get assaulted by the police. Is this how police are supposed to work” Asked another community member.

“Elderly people are robbed of their old age grant at night by the youth. We grew up at the time when respect was instilled at home but since the democracy things have changed. What we can do to enforce discipline to our children”, he said.

“When you see someone stealing someone’s belongings you are afraid to report to the police as your house will torched by the friends of the robbers”, said a community member.

“If the perpetrator went to the police to report himself and the victim’s families in numbers are willing to testify. What can be done in this scenario”, Asked another member of the community. The panel responded to the comments and questions from the members of the community.