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03 May 2008 13:58
South Africans cannot wait for the government to rescue them from crime, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Saturday.
“It is up to us to take our communities back. This is going to take the commitment and drive of every person ...
who values the ideal of a crime-free South Africa,” she said.
Speaking at an anti-crime march in Port Elizabeth, she said a new spirit of community was needed to fight crime in South Africa.
“Even with the best police officers, the war against crime will not be won without the support of the broader community,” she said.
“This means moving away from a victim mentality that stops us from taking control of our lives.”
Each member should take responsibility for the community in which they lived and should encourage others to do the same.
“If every law-abiding resident in the northern areas became the eyes and ears of the police, crime rates would drop,” Zille said.
“In short, we cannot wait for the government to rescue us from crime.”
Community members must be positive role models for their children and every child in the community, she said.
Those who chose the life of a gangster often did so because they never learned strong moral values from somebody they admired, Zille said.
“Their role models are the flashy gangsters and the drug dealers.”
“Our job is to show them what can be achieved through a life grounded in family values and respect.” - Sapa
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