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07 October 2011 at 09:24 - Posted by Anonymous

Dear Mr President, please stop crime


President Jacob Zuma listens to Naomi Domingo read an extract from the book titled Childrens letters to President Zuma during its launch at the Presidential Guest House on Thursday. Picture: Elmond-Jiyane

”Dear Mr President, I am worried about the crime in our country, please send a police delegation of high standard to Eersterus to try to calm the mood of the community.”

This was one of many letters that have been written by pupils across the country and included in a book to President Jacob Zuma.

The book, Children’s letters to President Zuma was presented to Zuma on Thursday during an intimate gathering at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.

A small group of pupils had the opportunity to meet the president and four were fortunate enough to personally read their letters to him.

The letters dealt with issues ranging from healthcare, crime, housing and racism to unemployment. They were collected from 11 schools across the country.

The pupils who wrote the letters are in Grades 5 to 7 and aged between 10 and 13.

Naomi Domingo, now 14, from Hoërskool Die Wilgers said she and her family were held at gunpoint in their Eersterus home two years ago.

“They almost killed my dad. I pleaded with them not to hurt him and they told me if I didn’t shut up they would shoot him. It was the worst day of my life,” she said.

Naomi said that a year ago a gang also broke into their neighbour’s home and shot and killed their nine-month-old baby. “We suspect that it was the same gang that robbed us,” she said. All I ask is that this madness stops, just that,” she said emotionally.

Naomi, who is in Grade 8, said she planned on becoming a lawyer, “so I can make a difference”.

Many of the pupils who penned letters asked questions about the president’s personal life.

A boy wrote: I really want to know if you enjoy being the president of the country.

“What do you do every day? When do you play with your kids? Do you help them with their homework? Do you ever do anything enjoyable with them?

On a lighter note, one girl wrote: “Don’t you feel sad because your birthday isn’t popular like Nelson Mandela’s?”

Zuma showed appreciation for the book and said he might even respond to each letter personally.

“Children are very honest people. They raise issues in a genuine manner and it is important that we as adults and leaders listen to what they have to say.

“Their voices must never be suppressed. That they wrote to the president of the country shows that they have faith that their problems and those of the country can and will be solved. “We won’t fail these children.

Dr Mukanda Mulemfo, who helped to edit the letters before publication, said he had not edited the letters much. “I wanted to maintain the true individual expressions.” - Pretoria News

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