Window washers have become a real nuisance at many intersections in especially Johannesburg.
As children enjoy a well-deserved break we urge them to stay safe during the holidays.
The holiday season is a joyful time of year, but it’s also a time of year when you need to be extra-cautious when out and about with your child. Between frenzied trips to the mall for holiday shopping, crowded airports, and holiday parties, it can be hard to keep track of your little one in the crowds. These holiday tips will help parents ensure that their children stay protected and have a safe holiday season:
Talk to your kids before a family outing. Make a rule that you must always be able to see them and they must always be able to see you. It may sound simple, but keep reminding them periodically, especially if you think they’re getting restless.
Use the “two giant steps” rule – your kids can never be more than two giant steps away from you. It’s a fun and easy way for young children to remember not to wander away.
Teach your kids that if they ever become separated from you, they should look for a “safe stranger” for help. Some examples include a mom with kids or a cash register person. With older children, agree on a “meeting place” ahead of time, in case you become separated.
Tell your child never to leave the mall or store to go looking for you, no matter what anyone tells them. Remind your child that you would never leave until you are reunited.
Dress your child in brightly coloured clothes to make him easy to spot. Be sure to remember what they are wearing.
In busy places like airports or shopping malls, consider using a cute harness for toddlers who are prone to running off. There are lots of fun ones out there that look like a lion’s tail or an elephant’s trunk. Your child’s safety is most important, so don’t worry about what others think.
Establish the “check first” rule with older children. They must always check first with you before going anywhere in a public place, including another store, play area, or even the restroom.
Don’t treat public facilities as a “convenient babysitter.” Do not leave your children alone at video arcades, movie theatres, play areas, or other public places. Predators are known to look for unsupervised kids.
Always bring young children into the restroom with you. Look for well-lit restrooms in high traffic areas, whenever possible.
Discuss age-appropriate safety issues with your child in a calm, non-fearful manner. Replace the word “strangers” with “tricky people.” Let your child know that it isn’t what people look like that makes them unsafe; it’s what they ask a child to do that makes someone “thumbs down.” Kids have been known to leave with a stranger because “he seemed nice” or “she didn’t look like a stranger.”
Make sure that your child knows your cell phone number.
Visit our website for more safety tips: http://www.saps.gov.za/child_safety/index.php
The initiative by Independent Media #DontLookAway as part of 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children continues to highlight the plight of victims.
On Sunday, the 16 Days comes to an end.
This does not mean we have to wait for November next year to highlight the problems. We need on-going programmes and have to sustain the awareness.
Minister of Women, Susan Shabangu, has agreed we must turn it into 365 Days of awareness.
We need to protect our women and children. Shabangu will host a ministerial Imbizo in Tokoza at the weekend to outline the plan of action.
Let’s continue to DO our bit. #MakeSASafe
#DONTLOOKAWAY REPORT IN THE STAR:
WHILE some women sometimes choose to stay in abusive relationships despite how toxic they are for various reasons, for some, once beaten is indeed twice shy.
*Meagan, 50, is one of those women.
She had been in a relationship with her partner for five months when he beat her up severely one day, leaving her with a fractured nose, an eye infection, as well as a bruise on her eye that was still clearly visible three months after the attack.
Although it was the first time her boyfriend had laid his hands on her, Meagan was so shaken that she terminated the relationship and opened a case against him.
For Meagan, leaving wasn’t negotiable and staying wasn’t a possibility.
“If I went back to him, it would have taken my power away from me. Many victims go back to their abusers and that strips off a form of their power and independence,” she said.
Another thing she realised, she said, was that the man – who is an amputee – was filled with self-loathing, so he took out his frustrations on her.
Although it has been a few months since the incident, Meagan remembers that day as if it were yesterday.
It was Women’s Day and her ex-partner had been out with his son. They returned at about 10pm.
Meagan was sitting in the dark as there was load shedding. She said her ex-partner’s son walked in and greeted her.
“Good evening,” he said. “My response was ‘how can it be a good evening? There is no electricity and I am all alone in the dark’.
“My ex-boyfriend then limped into the room,” she said.
Meagan said she was on the bed when her ex-boyfriend started punching her in the face.
“After he beat me up, he said ‘I’m going to break your legs and you are going to crawl out of here’.
“That was when I realised that the abuse had nothing to do with me and that he was a broken person and he in fact hated himself (for being an amputee),” she added.
At that point the son stormed into the bedroom and told his father to go and wash the blood off his hands.
“I think that was his way of helping me escape, and I told him to open the gate. I went straight to the police station.”
According to Meagan, all the systems put into place were filled with employees “who lacked compassion, passion and empathy for their jobs because there was no assistance given to them as victims”.
Instead they were made to feel like the perpetrators, and you were basically left all alone, she said.
Meagan said she was told at the police station to get a J88 form.
The next day she took the police to her assailant and then went to a clinic, but after waiting for two hours, staff told her they could not assist her and that she would have to go to a hospital to have the J88 form completed.
“I feel like nobody advises you that it is going to be a long, difficult and painful road. I mean, if they were effectively trained, the person helping at the clinic could have told me from the outset that they would not be able to assist me.
“And it’s worse when you don’t have money, as it has the ability to make all one’s problems go away,” she said.
Meagan said she was later required to perform a urine test.
“The hospital conditions were appalling and the doctor did not even examine my documentation properly.
“I was left feeling dirty and ashamed as though I had brought this ordeal upon myself,” she said.
After her assault, Meagan left Joburg for Durban to recuperate at her cousin’s place.
“I couldn’t be seen in public with the horrific bruise on my eye. People have this stigma attached to abuse. It diminishes all forms of your dignity,” she said.
When she returned to Joburg, she tried to get a protection order against her ex-boyfriend.
However, she said that was turned down because it was an ongoing criminal case and he had not tried to abuse her again.
The matter is before the courts now, and despite her pain and suffering, Meagan wants the court to give her attacker counselling as opposed to jail time.
“Prison is a terrible place and if he were to get locked up he would come back more messed up as opposed to being rehabilitated,” she said.
Regarding what abuse victims go through after their ordeal, Meagan believes employing the right people in the right jobs could make a huge difference.
“Various departments in the justice industry should have mandatory tests performed, to analyse if these potential employees are fit to deal with all these broken people they are subjected to daily.
“To them it’s just a job and the victim ends up more frustrated than before.”
Gauteng Department of Social Development’s Mbangwa Xaba said the reason some victims did not feel that they received proper assistance was because of the terrible conditions they were subjected to on a daily basis.
“Caregivers should be well trained and caring because it took a lot for the victims to report the crime in the first place.
“Caregivers’ days are often long and they also experience a high volume of victims, which can be very stressful to them.”
The Social Development Department has a toll-free number to assist victims to report abuse anonymously and offer them support and counselling through the court proceedings. The number is 0800150150. *Not her real name.
*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador. He also heads-up #MakeSASafe
Safety has become an important issue throughout the world. The Tourism Safety Task Group of South Africa has compiled the following tips for tourists and migrants who come to the country:
At a hotel:
- Never leave your luggage unattended
- Store valuables in the hotel’s safety deposit box
- Keep your room locked, whether you’re in it or not
- If someone knocks, check who it is before opening the door
- Leave your keys at the reception desk when leaving the hotel
In the street:
- Avoid ostentatious displays of expensive jewellery, cameras and other valuables
- It’s definitely not advisable to carry large sums of money around (rather, we recommend using URCard, a safe, convenient prepaid debit card designed specifically for travellers)
- At night, steer clear of dark, isolated areas
- It’s better to explore in groups and to stick to well-lit, busy streets
- Plan your route beforehand
- A policeman or traffic officer will be glad to direct you if you get lost
- If you want to call a taxi, your hotel or the nearest tourism information office can recommend a reliable service
In a car:
- Plan your route in advance
- Keep the car doors locked at all times and wind the windows up
- Lock valuable items in the boot (trunk)
- At night, park in well-lit areas
- Never pick up strangers
- If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advice
In general we advise people to carry a reliable map with them at all times and to keep a certified copy of passports and other important documentation such as flight tickets in a safe place such as a bank or hotel’s safety deposit box.
Leave your valuables at home, your luggage may be opened and your valuables missing from your bags when you collect your luggage from the check out area.
- Do not wear expensive jewellery.
- Do not allow yourself to be separated from your hand luggage.
- Laptops, camera’s, mobile phones and handbags are targeted items.
- Do not allow yourself to be distracted by one person while another person runs off with your possessions.
If you are hiring a car and intend driving from the airport be sure you know the exact route you should take so that you need not stop to ask for directions making yourself vulnerable and an easy hijack target.
Avoid walking in deserted areas on your own during the day and particularly at night.
South Africa is not the only country where the above list applies, it applies to many destinations and innocent tourists are caught up in unpleasant situations because they are not vigilant and do not apply wisdom because they are “on holiday” and in a carefree mood.
Please also avoid giving money to beggars; you are more likely to lose your whole wallet in this type of situation. Poverty breeds crime!
CapeTownMagazine.com is here to make sure that you and your loved ones get the best that South Africa has to offer.
Meanwhile, in a breakthrough:
SUSPECTS DEALING IN ILLEGAL FIREARMS ARRESTED
Pretoria: 03 December 2017 – Two suspects were arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning during an intelligence-driven operation comprising of various disciplines of the SAPS, both from police Head Office as well as Limpopo Province.
The team followed up on intelligence that two suspects, aged 17 and 35 years, were smuggling arms into South Africa through the border near the Komatipoort area of Mpumalanga. When the suspects were confronted, it emerged that they were intending to sell the firearms to a prospective buyer.
A total of seven (7) AK47 rifles, 180 rounds of ammunition and a Toyota Hilux double cab bakkie were recovered. During the arrest and recovery, one AK47 rifle was recovered fastened against the exhaust system underneath the vehicle. The two suspects will appear on charges of smuggling and dealing in illegal firearms in the Komatipoort Magistrate’s court tomorrow. All the rifles will be sent for ballistic testing to the SAPS Forensic Science laboratory.
This type and calibre of weapon are among those that are generally used to commit aggravated robberies such as cash-in-transit heists, vehicle hijackings and house and business robberies. This a significant breakthrough in our efforts to nip these categories of robberies in the bud.
The National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khehla Sitole, has welcomed these arrests and recoveries, praising the intelligence team for their excellent work. “Combating the proliferation of arms and ammunition forms part of our six-pillar priorities during the festive season,” said General Sitole. “Removing such firearms from our streets will certainly help to reduce the risk of these robberies being committed,” added General Sitole.
We urge the people of South Africa to continue supporting the police in its efforts to bring down the scourge of crime because together we can do more.
*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and Namola’s Chief Ambassador. He also heads-up #MakeSASafe
TODAY is day four of 16 days of activism to end violence against women and children.
We salute Independent Media for bringing us the harrowing true stories behind the statistics. Don’t look away!
We have to all join hands and act to end gender-based violence. Far too many women are abused and violated every day. On average, one woman is raped every 15 minutes.
This is according to the crime statistics released recently. And let’s not forget, many cases go unreported.
Domestic violence is widespread. Our children are also falling victim to crime in their thousands. Many go missing and are never reunited with their families.
We need sustainable programmes and we must continue to raise our voices. It’s time to stand up and say “no” to violence. Our women and children need to be protected.
Many victims don’t report crime because the system is failing them. But we must not give up. Download the Namola Safety App free and report any form of abuse. Ensure criminal charges are laid.
The app, powered by DialDirect, has the support of, among others, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, Women’s Minister Susan Shabangu and the Gauteng Community Safety Department.
Namola has over 112 000 downloads. Use this platform also to make tip-offs and get criminals arrested. The private sector has an important role and we must all join hands to #MakeSASafe.
Enter For Women (www. for-women.co.za) is a platform that consolidates efforts to fight woman abuse in one place. The site features the public, private and non-profit organisations who have vowed to put an end to woman abuse, so that survivors of abuse can find the right help, quickly.
For Women also enables South Africans and corporate South Africa who want to take a stand against woman abuse to easily connect with organisations who need their help.
For Women was developed by 1st for Women Insurance who, over the past 12 years, has donated over R56 million to organisations that fight abuse. The platform is powered by Forgood.
It has been structured to holistically address woman abuse through three key pillars – prevention (organisations that work to address the multiple and often interlinked causes of abuse), preparation (organisations that empower women with the tools they need to put an end to this social tragedy), and provision (organisations that can support and assist abuse survivors on their journey).
#MakeSASafe has decided to upgrade a sexual offences facility at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. Women who go to court to testify use the room and we will be painting, carpeting and equipping the facility soon.
To donate, go to www.happimo.org
Police need to ensure they up their game. Far too many victims of violence are treated with contempt when they go to police stations to report crime.
Cops are not adequately trained on how to deal with abuse cases. There is little sensitivity and poor investigation work. A female rape victim should not be interviewed by a male officer.
The SAPS must ensure that every station is well equipped and officers should be allocated to deal specifically with woman and child abuse cases. The courts need to ensure that cases are followed through.
Protection orders are often issued but the police fail to act. This results in more violence. The cycle continues.
This year marks 19 years since the UN adopted the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children.
Ending the scourge of violence against women and children must remain a top priority of government.
Civil society needs to also take the lead.While we use the 16 days to raise awareness, we need to mobilise and become active citizens.
#CountMeIn and Don’t look away should be top of mind on an on-going basis. Anti-crime activist and Namola’s chief ambassador. He also heads up #MakeSASafe
An Operational Response Services intervention consisting of members of the Tactical Response Team, National Intervention Unit, Public Order Police and Air Wing is working tirelessly to curb senseless killings in this Province. The team is currently on detachment in the far North of KwaZulu-Natal where five people were fatally wounded a week ago.
Yesterday, 28 November 2017, the members made a breakthrough by arresting six alleged hitmen, aged between 34 and 52. It is alleged that they have been operating between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and are involved in taxi related incidents, police killings, ATM bombings, cash-in-transit heists, political killings, armed robbery and hijackings. The suspects were arrested just outside Richards Bay and were found in possession of seven unlicensed firearms and ammunition. Police will further interview these criminals and their firearms will be forwarded for ballistic testing.
The KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa praised the police officers for the arrests. “I would like to commend our members for their dedication that led to the arrests of these suspects and the recovery of seven firearms. We are confident that arrest of these men will contribute in stemming incidents of violence across the province. We commend members of the community who came forward and decided to work with our team to bring down these thugs. It shows that our communities still have confidence in the police and despise criminals,” he said.
Media enquiries: Colonel Thembeka Mbhele: 082 462 9870 email@example.com