Cape Town anglers staged a peaceful demonstration on Friday, against what they say is an increase in crime targeting them in the False Bay area.
Rafeeq “Fiki” Marlie, a local angler and organiser of the demonstration, said on Friday that thousands of anglers in False Bay were increasingly becoming victims of theft and hijacking.
He said they decided to protest on Friday evening, in the hope of garnering help from the mayor’s office and police.
The crimes predominately occurred near Strandfontein Pavilion, Marlie said.
“Gangsters and criminals of all sorts attack us. Criminal elements from nearby townships are targeting us because they realise our tackle is worth money.”
He said a police officer was robbed and stabbed at Macassar Beach, which sparked a huge outcry for help.
A group of fishermen recently fled beaches when they received a warning in an anglers’ Whatsapp group.
“A warning was sent out that a group of 15 men near Strandfontein Pavilion were going out and about. There were 200 fishermen on the beach that night. Within two minutes of receiving the message, the beach was empty. How can something like that happen? It is sad,” said Marlie.
Marlie said assailants were often armed with firearms, including shotguns. Although police had tried to help, sending out a patrol van in one case, this was not enough.
“They have tried, but we need more. It is too much of a stretch for one van to be in the area.”
Marlie said anglers were a “good community of people”.
“Everyone comes from different walks of life just to enjoy this recreational past time. We have anything from 500 to 1 000 anglers here every weekend. We need help. We just want to enjoy this without thinking about crime.”[Source News24]