Police declare war on stolen goods

DECEMBER 18, 2014

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says buying stolen goods makes the buyers complicit like the criminals who murder, rape and inflict serious mental and bodily injury.

The Minister on Wednesday launched a campaign against the buying of stolen goods at Masoyi stadium in Mpumalanga.

Minister Nhleko said the campaign is one of the ways that the South African Police Service (SAPS) is trying to create a decent society.

“Today should be more than just the launch of the campaign. It should be about embracing a new language, a language that refuses to glorify acquiring stolen goods, a language that seeks to justify doing wrong because things might ‘have fallen from a truck’ and other expressions. 

“Today we need to embrace a language that says: Not in my name. Shops and trucks will not be broken into so that I have the thrill of cheap products,” said Minister Nhleko.

The Minister said it was especially worrying that children get socialised into believing that buying stolen goods is acceptable behaviour.

“Stationery for work purposes should remain [just] that and we cannot use the language of expropriation and expect our children to learn something completely different,” he said.

The Minister said society should be mindful that those who sell stolen goods may very well come back to steal those goods from the buyers.

“The presence of a market for stolen goods serves as an encourager for the commission of crimes. Why do we buy stolen property, when such motivates armed robbery, murder, rape and general insecurity? Why do we assist a criminal to sustain his criminality?” 

Minister Nhleko said it was critical that part of the national effort should be directed at the elimination of this market. He said his ministry, through the Civilian Secretariat for the Police, will be engaged in public awareness of the Second Hand Goods Acts, which will help people to better appreciate the legal implications of dealing in second hand goods, as well as the associated risks.

Other aspects of the campaign will consist of programmes aimed at assisting the youth, the unemployed in particular, to engage in productive work like home vegetable gardening, skills on running small businesses, forming co-operatives and other subsistence level activities.

Training the youth to engage in subsistence work will help to improve the process of skills transfer, reduce abject poverty and cultivate a positive work ethic, said Minister Nhleko.

He called on all South Africans to join the campaign. - SAnews.gov.za