St Patrick’s Special School pupils in Ginsberg were warned about the dangers of crime and drug use during a campaign staged by the Eastern Cape provincial police department in conjunction with other stakeholders in honour of Child Protection Week.
Child Protection Week – from June 2 until June 9 – was themed: “Let us protect all children to move South Africa forward”.
The event was staged in collaboration with the departments of justice and social development, the King Community Policing Forum, Men for Change and the Women’s Network who all encouraged and motivated pupils with messages of support.
The day ended with a display by the SAPS dog unit.
During her opening remarks, Lieutenant-Colonel Noceba Nika shared valuable safety rules with the pupils.
“Do not let strangers into your house when you are alone, say no if a stranger asks you for help; do not go into a stranger’s house or car even when invited. Tell a trusted adult if someone scares or harasses you, and learn the rules in calling for help in an emergency,” she said.
Sergeant Nondyebo Yoyo touched on the issue of safer schools and warned the pupils not to get involved in drugs or alcohol – and to choose their friends correctly.
Manager of local NGO, Vuka Drug and Substance Abuse, Asiphe Madasi who took on the role of motivational speaker, testified was the motivational speaker and took the audience through a testimony on how drug abuse and influence of wrong friends turned him into a “monster”.
“I stole from my parents and made their life hell to satisfy my needs as a druggie and those of my friends,” Madasi said.
“I first took cash from my parents to the amount of R1,000 and spent it within few minutes on drugs with my friends. Then it became a sickness where I would just take anything valuable from the house in exchange for drugs,” he said.
Madasi was eventually arrested and, while behind bars for three months, came to his senses when his so-called friends never visited him.
“When days are dark, friends are few and this was exactly what I have experienced,” said Madasi.