A group of women, exasperated with the level of crime in their community, has become amateur sleuths and guardians against crime.
Their regular patrols as the Community Policing Forum (CPF) of Nyanga are conducted with the aim of lessening crime in what has been described as the murder capital of Cape Town.
Community member Umme Mbuqe says, “We are not allowed to hit people anymore,” as she conducts her walkabout. “Now we take them to the hall, question them, and then hand them over to the police.”
On Wednesdays and Fridays, the women of the CPF are available if members of the community would like to report a crime. The women ask questions, do some investigations and then hand that information over to the police.
During the ‘busy period’ – Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the women patrol their community or drive around with police. The women also visit bars and shebeens and beg the owners and staff not to serve pregnant women or minors alcohol.
“Sometimes they threaten us. One day a gang of about eight or ten men was walking with guns and they saw us and fired shots in the air. They did not hurt us, but it was a bad day for us.”
The best part of their job is helping children cross the roads after school. If they find a child wandering around after school hours while their parents are still at work, they take them home or ask someone in the community to keep an eye on them.
Their pay is a mere R300, but they are always hopeful for more. The women are also looking for more training from the police so that they can be even more effective in their fight against crime.
Source: The South African