Crime the norm in Reiger Park - bishop

Crime & Courts

Johannesburg - What is my contribution to the death of this child?

This is the question Bishop Clarence Wentzel, of the Bethel Community Church, wants residents of Reiger Park to ask themselves following the death of 4-year-old Taegrin Morris.

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240714. Reiger Park Community Hall. A woman holding a poster at the memorial service for a four-year-old Taegrin Morris, who died after being dragged alongside his mother's hijacked car in Reiger Park, east of Johannesburg.
Picture: Dumisani SibekoBishop Clarence Wentzel. 240714
Picture: Handout/Supplied

“We have to take responsibility for the crime in the area. We have been quiet for so long.

“How many of us have these gangsters in our homes, how many of them are we harbouring?” he asked.

Last week, two house robberies took place on the same street and Wentzel said nearly 20 hijackings took place in a month.

Wentzel said every time a committee for crime-fighting was set up in the community, it never lasted.

The cleric said the community had accepted the situation as normal.

“When the xenophobic attacks were happening, we made a proposal to have a disaster committee. When gangsters and drug dealers were killing people, we set up a committee. They all died out.”

Wentzel said his biggest argument was that people would speak a lot about the situations, although some of them were complicit.

“The community knows these people (criminals). The people who are protecting the criminals need to be honest and tell the police.

“The church, parents and schools must play a role,” Wentzel said.

On Wednesday, national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega met Wentzel and other community leaders.

“We must not allow a minority to overcome the majority. There are decent, good people in Reiger Park,” Wentzel said.

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The Star

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