PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma has vowed to up the ante in the fight against crime.
Speaking after a visit to Soshanguve in Pretoria, Zuma said government’s security cluster will meet soon to review the effectiveness of anti-crime strategies and come up with new ones.
One issue the area is said to be struggling with a new drug abuse phenomenon called Bluetooth.
Additionally, the president reiterated his argument that South Africans are not xenophobic.
It was a letter from Soshanguve activist, John Molepo that brought the area’s plight to the president’s attention.
“I even asked the police station commander of Soshanguve... They only have few cars that can patrol within the area of Soshanguve. Block L on its own has plus-minus 16,000 residents on its own, so they use only one van to patrol," said Molepo.
"I said no, let me speak to the President directly.”
After mentioning it in his State of the Nation Address, Zuma personally went to the area for a first-hand account of the situation, including from a group of drug addicts seeking help to quit.
“We must get rid of crime," Zuma told residents.
"We can’t be happy that there is crime. We’re fighting it in generality; we’ve got to be very specific, and if at all there are things that we need to do in order to fight crime and eradicate it, that’s what we must do,” he added.
But when it comes to the recent spate of crimes that appear xenophobic in nature, the president is grappling with its labelling and terminology.
“We should not highlight that and give a wrong impression that South Africans are xenophobic. I don’t think so, in any kind of fight, even if there are no foreigners," Zuma stressed.
"I know faction fighting, for an example - if there is a fight, people loot, whether you’re a foreigner or not. It’s a character that goes with violence,” he said.
The president was steadfast in his conviction that the large number of foreign nationals residing among the population instead of refugee camps, shows that South Africans don’t hate immigrants.