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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

2 500 military veterans to become traffic wardens in Gauteng

Addressing the group, the Gauteng Premier said they must target the Hillbrow and Sunnyside areas in Johannesburg and Pretoria, respectively.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has called the 2 500 military veterans who are joining the province’s traffic wardens, “the generation that will end lawlessness in our province”.

Lesufi was addressing a large crowd of those recruits at a packed Grace Bible Church in Soweto on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Lesufi announces 3 000 more to join Gauteng Crime Wardens

“We’ve convened you to send you to go and defend out freedom for the second time,” he said.

“We’ve convened you to say ‘we can’t surrender our country and our province to criminals… we can’t allow criminals to do as they wish’.”

‘Criminals do as they wish’

The premier bemoaned the killing of Kaizer Chiefs central defender and Olympian Luke Fleurs, businesspeople, as well as ordinary South Africans because criminals feel they can do as they wish.

“As we prepare you to go out there and defend us, we can trust you because you have demonstrated this before,” Lesufi added.

“I want to send a very strong message to criminals: It ends here, it ends now.

“We can’t have our girls being raped… We can’t have our parents when they go to the taxi rank at night, they are mugged and their cellphones are taken.”

He said residents are not able to enjoy their lives, being locked up in their own homes for fear of crime.

ALSO READ: Hijacking horrors and hotspots: How Luke Fleurs ended up paying highest price for his Golf GTI

Veterans to be re-trained

Lesufi said he did not want to be accused of not training the veterans properly, so they would be retrained.

“Commanders, you are going back to school… We don’t want accusations that you do not have the necessary paperwork,” he said.

“So we start at the bottom of the bottom and go up together so that we can defend our province.

“We want you to be properly trained. We want you to have the necessary power to ensure that we defend what we need to defend.

ALSO READ: Gauteng’s Crime Prevention Wardens to be trained by the army

“You are the generation that will ensure that the laws of this country must be respected. You are the generation that will protect lives. You are the generation that will end lawlessness in our province.”

Targeting Hillbrow and Sunnyside

“We must send a strong message to [two areas] – and I trust you – Hillbrow, Sunnyside here we come,” Lesufi said of the respective Johannesburg and Pretoria areas.

“Hillbrow, you are part of Gauteng… Sunnyside, you are part of Gauteng, you are not part of one country in Europe. We want to bring back what belongs to us, to South Africa.”

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Crime Gauteng military veterans Panyaza Lesufi