Stop body shaming my crime busting recruits, says Premier Panyaza Lesufi

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 2, 2023


Johannesburg – Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has defended his more than 6 000 crime prevention recruits to be deployed across the province’s crime hotspots.

The recruits are going on a crime-fighting blitz across the province, but some of them appear to be overweight and unsuited for the job at hand.

Many of the recruits were sourced from community police forums (CPFs) in the province.

Lesufi took to social media, where he said body shaming some of the members was not the way to go, as some of the recruits had proven their crime-fighting abilities in their own communities for years.

One of the recruits is a Vaal-based CPF member identified as Mahlatse Tseko.

“Body shaming and discrimination are as dangerous as racism and sexism. You can be somehow capable of working. I have taken an extraordinary step to request the training session of Mahlatse Tseko, a crime-fighting volunteer who fought criminals for years volunteering,” Lesufi said.

The recruits were recently unveiled by the premier during a media briefing at Giant Stadium in Soshanguve, Tshwane, on Sunday, April 30. Lesufi said the new crime-busting unit in Gauteng would tackle crime throughout the province and help reduce youth unemployment.

Lesufi said some of these recruits had been doing this job for years.

“He (Tseko) has been doing that for years, volunteering in his community. We all have strong and weak characters, but please don’t body shame or discriminate against others on the basis of their bodies. It’s shameful.”

According to SABC News, Lesufi also told the media that the introduction of the crime-busting unit in Gauteng would send a strong message to criminals who continued to make it one of the worst crime-affected provinces in the country.

“The provincial government has spent in excess of R450 million to train the wardens. This includes the acquisition of the necessary equipment, like drones, to assist them in their operations.”

Lesufi said criminals must leave the province as he was serious about fighting crime, including using technology to improve crime prevention.

“So there is no community that will leave without being patrolled at night and during the day. I am not here to negotiate with criminals. I am not here to beg criminals. If they want peace in Gauteng, we are politely requesting that all criminals pack their things and leave Gauteng immediately,” he told community members on Sunday.

The Star