“We appreciate the work done by the communities to protect their areas during the unrest” says Kodwa

Cape Town – Following a week of riots in some parts of the country, State Security Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa accompanied by local Cape Town community members visited the Thembokwezi Square and Site C Plaza in Khayelitsha.

The visit was part of Kodwa’s tour across the country to quell and simmer down tensions stemming from the violent looting sprees and destruction of infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week.

Speaking on his walkabout in Khayelitsha, Kodwa said he was in the province to interact and encourage community-based organizations already working in their areas to stand firm against looting, violence and vandalism directed at shopping centres and infrastructure as seen in other provinces.

He said that it was quite interesting and encouraging to come into Cape Town and see that there had been no incidents of violent looting and destruction of property.

Kodwa said: “While we are visiting all areas, including those that were affected and the ones not, I must say that it was quite compelling to get to the Cape peninsula and see that nothing had taken place here.

“We then have to appreciate the work done by communities to protect their areas so passionately. It was very important for me to note that and to encourage the community-based organizations that have been working hard to preserve their areas and local economy.”

“The partnership between these organizations with law enforcement is quite satisfying and I think it’s something we should nurture and maintained even after this dark cloud we are facing as a country.

“We are also thankful to the center management who have been supporting the volunteers, the majority who are women, who have been protecting these malls.”

“Overall, I would just like to say we are truly reassured by the position many South Africans have taken to reject violence and looting. It’s the spirit we need to work together to protect our local economy and properties. But this should not lead to vigilantism as we have seen in other areas, this has to be done according to the law,” he said.

Khayelitsha Community Police Forum (CPF) Secretary Phindile George said: “Personally speaking, having the work we are doing as volunteers recognized by government bodies feels good and it’s encouraging.

“The minister’s visit into our community and his acknowledging how community organizations are working alongside law enforcement to safeguard and protect our areas and infrastructure, (is welcomed).

“This also provided us, the opportunity to reach out to him and ask that he further assists us by supporting our initiatives, especially our volunteers who have been working hard to fight against crime, to link them to government law enforcement structures and initiatives so they too can become recognized officers of the law. We trust that he will follow through on the initiatives we raised,” said George.

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