By Qudissiyah Kasu
A group of bikers hosted a demonstration to raise awareness about the abuse of the elderly on Saturday the 22nd of February. This was fuelled by the death of Mymoena Koelman, who was allegedly tormented by her drug addict grandson for years without intervention from social workers and police. Tempers boiled over when a disturbing video surfaced on social media, showing the frail 76-year-old being harassed by Kaashif, 25, who demanded money to buy heroin.
The 50 bikers decided to create awareness in the Strandfontein and Mitchell’s Plain area by standing up and protesting for the safety and protection of elders.
Their starting point was Mitchell’s Plain SAPs and they then stopped at Strandfontein SAPs for a 30min period of peaceful protest. They ended off their activism in Dinghie Circle where Mymoena Koelman lived. They invited elders from the community to join them and had a lady from the old age home speak on behalf of the elders while they handed out grocery parcels to the elderly.
“It’s so sad and tragic that we had to find out through a video of what had happened to Mymoena. People in the area said that it’s been going on for quite a while and it wasn’t only at one house that abuse towards elderly took place in the community,” said Hilton Daniels, one of the event organisers.
Mymoena passed away suddenly in her home two weeks ago and her death prompted an uproar from residents, who believe authorities failed the helpless woman. The late woman’s granddaughter Kashiefa said Aunty Mymoena was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm several years ago and while residents and relatives blame Kaashif for her death, he was not at home when she died.
Daniels said that as a bike group they refuse to turn a blind eye towards what is happening and their form of activism will not be a once-off event.
Daniels said they invited some officials to the event who did not pitch up to the event. Despite this, the bike rally got a good response from their community and even managed to help get two children removed from a drug den.
“Violence against violence is not the answer, to educate ourselves we need to empower ourselves with the knowledge of how to deal with these things,” said Daniels.