Lead SA founder and head of Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee has written a compelling open letter to President Jacob Zuma, desperately calling on the South African leader to address the high level of crime in the country.
In conversation with VOC on Thursday, Abramjee said the letter is in no way an attack on the president, instead its aim is to highlight the reality of millions of South Africans who live in constant fear “amid the brazen war on our men and women in blue who are being sadly killed like dogs in our streets” and furthermore a call to action.
“As the head of state, it is important for the president to lead the war on crime. Very few South Africans are immune from the crime problem. Almost all communities are affected,” Abramjee said/
Abramjee has appealed for a stronger partnership between police and ordinary citizens, civil society, businesses and anti-crime activist.
“Precious time and resources are spent to keep disgraced officials in their positions, just staving off the inevitable. How do you expect the public to continue respecting these institutions? How do you expect police officers to feel proud to wear the badge when their lives mean so little, reduced to lip service in an eloquent speech and another name on the commemoration wall? The lives of our citizens count for even less, it seems,” Abramjee wrote.
While some forty-seven people are murdered every month, Abramjee appealed to South Africans to continue in their efforts to ensuring the safety of their neighbourhoods.
“We have a constitution that guarantees our protection and the constitution needs to be adhered to. It is the responsibility of the state to ensure we are protected. It is great to see communities mobilising and people organising rallies against crime and drugs. We need to continue to inculcate a culture of blowing a whistle on crime. At the same time we expect government to be at the forefront,” Abrajmeed explained.
South Africans have taken to social media, where #DearMrPresident has been trending. Abramjee says this is a clear indication of the need for immediate intervention from Zuma is needed.
“Even the most persistent and active individual can’t hope to win a battle we are losing by virtue of a complete lack of political will to DO something about crime.” VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)