A Pretoria schoolgirl’s belief that fighting crime is the responsibility of young and old will motivate her as she helps lead one of the SAPS’s youth crime prevention flagship programmes.
In February, Felistas Hamba (15) and the country’s other Junior Provincial Commissioners took part in a debate and public speaking competition that delved into the social ills facing schools. Hamba’s impressive performance saw her named the South African Junior National Police Commissioner.
Hamba’s team includes four deputy national commissioners, who come from the North West, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.
It will be their mission to ensure that young people participate in making their schools and communities safer. “Crime affects us all. If you see a crime happening, please report it,” she called on her peers. “Making our schools safer starts with you.”
They will focus on physical bullying, crime prevention, gangsterism and cyberbullying.
Hamba decided to take part in the programme after realising that a lot of her peers didn’t know how to handle crimes that affect them. “As a young person, I am there to set a platform for them so that they can be change-makers for tomorrow,” she said.
The grade 10 pupil of DC Marivate Senior Secondary School in Soshanguve said innovative thinking by young people is needed to reduce crime in communities and at schools.
“Without young people leading this country, it will not go anywhere,” Hamba warned her peers.
Hamba’s dad is a police officer and it is her dream to follow in his footsteps.
The principal of Hamba’s school, John Mangezi, said her impact is positively influencing others in the school. “It’s very important for the school to have her in our midst because other learners want to be like her,” Mangezi said.