Social justice movement group, Moms Move for Justice is expected to march to parliament in Cape Town tomorrow on Thursday in commemoration of all the victims of crime and senseless violence in local communities. Ordinary community members, religious leaders, community organisations and non-profit organisations are expected to attend. The march will begin with a vigil at the Cape Town Castle at 10am and demonstrators will head to the gates of Parliament to hand over a memorandum of demands.
One of the voices of Moms Move for Justice is Lesley Wyngaard, an activist fighting for justice in Cape Town. A few years ago, Wyngaard and her family fell victim to the pervasive crime in the province in what is described by her, as a tragic shooting.
While Wyngaard’s story is one of many in Cape Town, it further inspired her to take the fight for justice more seriously and to become deeply involved in community activism. Despite her repeated calls for justice in her son’s case, Wyngaard‘s family has received no joy from the authorities.
“My son was murdered in Mitchells Plain in November of 2015,” she said.
“The perpetrator claimed it was self-defence, but my son was shot at the back of the head. We are not sure whether it was because he witnessed a crime…he was standing on one side and the perpetrator shot a person who then immediately died on the scene. My son was the second or third person shot, trying to get away from some fight. He only survived for about 20 mins.”
“Our case was riddled with inadequacies from both SAPS and the justice system in its entirety. After three and a half years, the magistrate dismissed the case. The perpetrator is a free man after killing two people and after attempted murder on one.
While he [the alleged perpetrator] was out on bail, he was involved in an armed robbery. But when he threatened the shop-owner, the owner dropped the case against him and the perpetrator was free of that as well. He also escaped from custody at the police cells in Lentegeur before.”
According to Wyngaard, when she questioned the police on how the man was able to escape, the officials at the time simply said that the cameras malfunctioned that night and told Wyngaard that she was overreacting and that she needed counselling.
“The purpose of the march tomorrow is about the plight we have with various governmental departments – provincial and national. Too many lives are being lost and not just on the Cape Flats. The march is for all the lives being lost and all the children being raped. We need a proactive approach from authorities,” said Wyngaard.
“Life is a gift. No man has the right to brutally take that life or to cause that kind of damage to another person for life. The trauma that parents suffer at the hands of a perpetrator…the people left behind are traumatised and their lives are changed forever.”
According to a statement released by Moms Move for Justice, candles will be lit at the vigil to raise awareness.
Participants of the march are encouraged to bring an item of clothing which will symbolise the loss, struggles and trauma they experience in communities rife with gangsterism and violence.