The Queenstown cluster police confiscated drugs worth millions last week in Mlungisi and Komani alone, which acting Komani police station commander, Colonel Loyiso Ngalo said was a growing concern in the town.
Ngalo said this during the Queenstown cluster junior commissioner debate that took place at the KSM police precinct where children from schools in the Chris Hani district took part, to tackle crime-related issues faced by teenagers in schools.
The commander indicated the confiscation of drugs worth huge sums of money meant their availability had increased, and warned young people to steer away from them, especially if they were still attending school.
“Cellphones are the most stolen items in this town and young children are either involved as victims or perpetrators of the crime. Livingstone Road, Queen’s Drive, Grey and Berry streets are among the most problematic areas when it comes to crime. The plugging of earphones that is commonly done by young people is one of the reasons people are mugged, because criminals can tell that you have a phone with you. Last Wednesday and Thursday we confiscated drugs worth millions in Mlungisi and Komani and we hope to get more so that there are as few drugs on the streets as possible.”
Ngalo said there were 32 schools in Komani that were linked with the safe school programme and that junior cluster commissioners which were comprised of schoolchildren, should be invited to attend station and cluster meetings to bring them up to speed with what was going on their areas.
Pupils from various schools made presentations about some of the challenges they faced in the communities they lived in and in schools.
Some of the presentations included how crime could be reduced in the school environment and in the community, why young people joined gangs and what could be done to change it, how drugs and alcohol affected a pupil’s school grades and how they could protect themselves from bullying, among other topics.
Ekuphumleni High School pupils from Whittlesea,Yolanda Dyonase and Zizo Mabomba, made a presentation about the link between poverty, unemployment, crime, youth violence and the school drop out rate.
In her presentation Dyonase gave some of the reasons that led pupils to dropping out of school and how the situation at home played a role in this.
Thornhill pupil Phiwokuhle Nakani spoke on the effects of bullying, what led pupils to bully others, and what victims of bullying could do to protect themselves.
Nakani said one of the best ideas if one was being bullied was to report the matter to a trusted adult and keeping proof of the bullying if there was any.
Indwe High School pupil and junior deputy provincial commissioner (DPC) for management intervention Hloma Sidlova said she got her position after participating in several debates and being chosen to participate provincially where she excelled in 2017.
“Most of the debates have either something to do with eradicating crime or motivating my peers to stay away from it. Debates like these are important for young children to learn from so that we can educate our friends and acquaintances about everything we have learned. We have been told that people are most likely to listen and believe what is said by their peers than anyone else. So commissions like this are for us to learn from and teach others.”