The community of Bonteheuwel have reached a boiling point in their plight to restore the peace to the gang infested area. On Sunday, the Bontheuwel Joint Peace Forum (BJPF) and residents plan on marching to the Bishop Lavis police station to get the attention of local police officials, who they believe have the power to change the current violent outbreak that has resulted in the death of many innocent lives.
BJPF Spokesperson, Judy Kennedy says the community is “gatvol” of not being heard by police officials. According to Kennedy, the forum has previously written an open letter to the MEC for Community Safety, Dan Plato who then visited the area for a community meeting on the issue. Kennedy told VOC News residents were told the city’s resources is currently limited amongst other things.
“Before Plato came to our area, we saw a large increase in patrols here. After the meeting, there was nothing. We can no longer sit back and just allow gangsters to take over our community. People are dying on a daily basis. And most of the affected are not even involved in gang activity,” Kennedy said.
Another open letter was sent to the Provincial Police Commissioner, General Arno Lemoer and the Minister of the Department of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, urging for the need to clamp down on gang related violence and activities in Bonteheuwel. Kennedy says Lamoer has responded and agreed to a meeting with the forum however, he explained that he would be unable to meet on Sunday when the community plans to march.
This, she said, will not put a damper on protestors as the forum’s objective is to unite the residents of Bonteheuwel and instil hope.
“We are in a position where our voices are not being heard. This is not the first time we have engaged with Lamoer. We decided that we need to step up our campaign and take it outside of Bonteheuwel and march to Bishop Lavis police station. We want to know what is the City’s plan to tackle gangsterism, not only in Bonteheuwel, but on the Cape Flats as a whole,” Kennedy added.
“Our main goal is not just to fight gangsterism but we as the joint peace forum want to create alternatives for residents in our community. The only way we can do that is to challenge those in power who are in a position where they can provide us with the much needed changes in the community in order to reach those goals.”
Kennedy further called on the community of Cape Town to support the march on Sunday which will begin from 3pm at the Bonteheuwel Civic Centre. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)