Set a thief to catch a thief proved


    Correctional services’ anti-crime campaign pays dividends at Alex schools.

    This was made apparent recently at East Bank Secondary School when the Department of Correctional Services and NPO, Blessed is the Hand that Gives, continued the initiative which started last year. The sessions expose learners to the rewards of crime, ill-discipline and motivate them on the benefits of their education – also to their families and the nation.

    At the event, errant learners who are into drugs were exposed. In turn, they revealed their crime mates one by one including the girls. To hushed murmurs and laughter from the ‘innocent’, they trudged to the front of the group where they blushed sheepishly. This seemingly also indicated the extent of the drug problems and other discipline-related issues in local schools.

    The department’s deputy director Mokhemi Molefe said the exposure of those involved in drugs and noise made by the learners during the event reflected the disciplinary challenges in society. “You are the window through which visitors to the school view your conduct and understand your background and families.

    “Your failure to heed teachers’ order to stop making noise shows appaling disrespect to visitors called in to share instructive life experiences that will help you to become better people in life and to the country.”

    Molefe implored them to live by the dictum, ‘Charity begins at home’.

    Captain Thulani Zulu said their mission was to help them and other township learners to stay out of and away from prisons through positive conduct. “Crime doesn’t pay, many of your age are regretting in prison from ill advice, bad decisions and you are lucky to be taught this fact of life.”

    Zulu urged them to say no to bad influence, adopt positive behaviour, morals and to respect and report bad conduct in school to the teachers.

    Assistant director Ramogolo Kau urged them not to self-destruct to avoid regretting later after acquiring criminal records. “Criminal conduct which graduates from stealing pens and rulers in school ends in serious criminal habits and criminal records which can’t be expunged.

    “It sticks with you for life, prevents one from getting employment and also, starting a business.”

    He advised them to choose friends with a mutual interest in advancing each other’s positive dreams. “Come to school prepared, with open minds, ready to listen, ask questions and to learn.”

    Motivational speaker Khaunafatso Mamabolo urged the learners to adopt positive attitudes in life. “Never assume you are clever when in secondary school which is just a step to more challenges on your journey of life.

    “Learn and adjust to working and living alongside others as nature dictates that we can’t always choose who we like as neighbours and superiors at schools and in the workplace. They may add something positive to your life.”

    He elaborated on instances of their age mates who are struggling in life after dropping out of school from ill-discipline and imprisoned for murdering people they disliked for flimsy reasons. “You will also exit your poverty circumstances through hard and diligent work starting in school and heeding teachers’ instructions and parents’ advice.