Members of the Community Corrections, Piet Retief Commcorr Office, have been spreading a crime awareness message during the past week and they are planning to keep on doing so.
As part of the Department of Correctional Services’s “Corrections week”, from 21 September till the end of the month, the officials in town and at the centre have been taking part in a lot of activities. They have been visiting various schools during the campaign as “the success of crime prevention lies in the youth – in the schools, churches and families”. Mr Simelane, the supervisor at the Commcorr office in town, organised the first event – a visit to Ziwelile Primary School, on Monday, 21 September. Mr Simelane and Pastor Mbuli (from Driefontein) addressed the learners in the presence of their educators. In terms of the Correctional Services Strategy, education is the key for any person to have a bright future. Learners were therefore advised to focus on their studies and not to embark on doing wrong things like engaging in drugs.
Mr Mbuli told them that something like stealing starts at home and that it is wrong to disrespect one’s parents and educators. It is also important to respect one another and be self-disciplined. “By joining hands and playing one’s part, crime can be prevented in our society, since crime does not pay.” Correction is the responsibility of all social institutions and individuals, (starting within the family) as well as educational, religious, sports and cultural institutions and a wide range of government departments. It is only at that final point when society has failed an individual that criminal justice and the department of Correctional Services step in.
It is also for this reason that the Department needs the co-operation of other departments and organisations so that they can collectively contribute to better the circumstances of families and communities, with the objective of crime prevention through rehabilitation. A second event was conducted on Tuesday, 22 September, when Mr Simelane, Pastor Mbuli and the Commcorr interns visited Vulindlela Primary School. In this case too, Mr Simelane and Pastor Mbuli addressed the learners on the same issues as at Ziwelile, thus spreading a crime awareness message.
On Wednesday, 23 September, their third visit took them to Sibahle Primary School where, together with the crime awareness campaign, the learners also celebrated their heritage. Staff of the Commcorr office and members of the community attended these ce-lebrations and learners were wearing their own traditional (for example Swazi, Ndebele and Zulu) attire. They were reminded that every person’s heritage begins at home, where one must respect adults and learn and be proud of one’s own language. “Remember where you come from and ne- ver forget your background!”
The principals and staff at these schools expressed their gratitude on behalf of the schools’ learners towards the Department of Correctional Services, while Mr Simelane is applauded by his colleagues for his effort in making these visits such a big success. Mr Sibeko from the Commcorr office in town appreciates the effort put in by the Commcorr staff for successfully presenting the Corrections Week and for keeping it an on-going project to the benefit of the learners and the community at large. Members of the community is hereby invited to, should they like to visit the correctional facility, contact the head of the centre, Mr S. Hlabisa (017 826 1466) for a tour.