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Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

SA stars join fight against crime

The cover of Take Charge
The CD is dedicated to singer Lucky Dube, who was shot dead last year

Some of South Africa's most popular singers have produced an album to help tackle the country's high rates of violent crime.

The album, called Take Charge, encourages people to report criminals in their neighbourhoods to the police.

"Politicians don't like to admit it but art has a broader and deeper reach than political rhetoric," said Gauteng's provincial minister Firoz Cachalia

Nearly 20,000 people died as a result of violent crime last year.

The album is dedicated to Lucky Dube, the South African reggae singer gunned down in a carjacking last year.

"This song is going to be heard by millions," Mr Cachalia said.

South African singer Maduvha [photo from www.maduvha.com]
Everyone knows the thugs in their communities, but no-one is willing to expose them
Singer Maduvha Madima

It features South African household names like Deborah Frazer, Steve Kekana and Ihashi Elimhlophe.

Singer Maduvha Madima told the BBC that people had to take some responsibility for clearing up the country's crime problem.

"Everyone knows the thugs in their communities, but no-one is willing to expose them," she said.

"Each and every one of us has to take an initiative."

But the BBC's Mpho Lakaje says members of the public at the launch in Johannesburg on Monday were sceptical about the message.

People still want the government to step up and fulfil their responsibilities, our correspondent says.

South Africa is to hold the World Cup in 2010, and the government is afraid visitors will be scared off by the high crime rate.

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