President Jacob Zuma addressing the community of Elsies River and surrounding areas during the Fight against Crime Imbizo held at Adriaanse Community Centre in Elsies River, Cape Town. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/ GCIS
President Jacob Zuma addressing the community of Elsies River and surrounding areas during the Fight against Crime Imbizo held at Adriaanse Community Centre in Elsies River, Cape Town. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/ GCIS
Hundreds of community members gathered at the Adriaanse community hall in Elsies River where President Jacob Zuma addressed residents during an Imbizo on crime. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Hundreds of community members gathered at the Adriaanse community hall in Elsies River where President Jacob Zuma addressed residents during an Imbizo on crime. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Young children at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Young children at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
President Jacob Zuma addressing the community of Elsies River and surrounding areas during the Fight against Crime Imbizo held at Adriaanse Community Centre in Elsies River. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
President Jacob Zuma addressing the community of Elsies River and surrounding areas during the Fight against Crime Imbizo held at Adriaanse Community Centre in Elsies River. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Community members at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Community members at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Community members at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Community members at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Deputy Minister Mahambehlala and deputy Minister Kota at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Deputy Minister Mahambehlala and deputy Minister Kota at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/ GCIS
Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen at a crime imbizo led by President Jacob Zuma in Elsies River. The visit forms part of the government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/ GCIS
Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma led a high-powered government delegation at an anti-crime imbizo in Elsies River on Tuesday, where he advocated the rolling out of street committees to keep communities safe.

Addressing a packed Adriaanse community hall, Zuma said that anti-crime committees "are needed in our blocks, streets and communities".

"We have come to Elsies River to express our outrage and say enough is enough," Zuma said, adding that he believed violence against women and children could be eradicated if communities worked together with law enforcement.

Elsies River was rocked recently by the rape and murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters whose little body was found buried in a shallow grave near Epping more than a week after she disappeared from her Pluto Street home.

Elsies River residents sing the national anthem ahead of a meeting on crime with a government delegation led by President Jacob Zuma. VIDEO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA


In the wake of the incident, which saw a 40-year-old lodger in the Pieters family home arrested in connection with the crime, Zuma visited the family and promised the community that he would return to look into the challenges of crime and how law enforcement authorities could improve their services.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, who was also at the imbizo on Tuesday, had unveiled a satellite police station shortly after Zuma's first visit to the area.

"The community has asked for a police station and the minister has responded by giving a mobile kind of police station for now," Zuma told residents.

Human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini, as well as the deputy minister of sport, Gert Oosthuizen, also attended the imbizo.

Explaining his original visit to the community two weeks ago, Zuma said that when "I heard the news that a young child of three years was murdered, raped, it shocked me. I thought I needed to sympathise with the family and the community. I thought something is wrong with the society." Zuma said crime was a cancer that needed to be uprooted from communities.

"That's why we are back here today to discuss what we can do together to fight these terrible crimes in our community," He again extended condolences following the killing of Courtney, saying she did not deserve to have her life cut short in such a cruel manner.

"Courtney's story, as cruel as it is, is not an isolated incident," Zuma said.

"The police are doing their best but they need the support of the community to solve and stop the crimes," Zuma added.

"It is difficult to police crime in the streets. It is even more difficult to police crime committed in the household.

"More than anything else we need to unite as a nation to stop criminals." 

Zuma said the ruling African National Congress, at National Executive Committee (NEC) level, had resolved that communities needed to form themselves into anti-crime committees "so that we can uproot criminality".