From the news desk

CT activist ready to tackle crime as new CPF cluster head

By Melanie Sauer

Newly appointed head of the Mitchells Plain Cluster Community Police Forum, Lucinda Evans, is a force to be reckoned with, and has big plans to end gender-based and gang-related violence in the Mitchell’s Plain and surrounding areas.

The Mitchells Plain community and surrounding areas is in safe hands, as the former Steenberg CPF chairwoman and founder of NGO organisations, Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal Our Women), steps into her new role as chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Cluster Community Policing Board.

The position, which has been vacant since January, when former chairman Hanif Loonat was ousted, supports police stations in Grassy Park, Steenberg, Philippi, Mitchell’s Plain, Strandfontein, Lansdowne, Lentegeur and Athlone.

A renowned gender violence and rights activist with over 25 years of experience in the NGO sector, Evans is grateful and humbled by this new position.

“I am grateful to have the banner of leading the cluster. It is a challenging position, but is one that is leading a strong collective leadership. We have lots of work ahead,” says Evans.

While Evans is more well known for her work with women and children, her aim is to work with families holistically, acknowledging that equal support for young boys and men is required just as much as their female counterparts.

Other plans include forging stronger connections with SAPS by outlining expectations from both parties, implementing extensive training that can be transferred to the community through CPF members, and adoption of a collaborative approach, which engages all stakeholders.

“Safety is a collective approach. We need to draw in other partners, such as social development, ward counsellors and forum officers that deal with safety, neighbourhood watches and block and flat committees. We need to pull everything that people do and do it wider,” says Evans.

Evans admits that she was taken aback by the outcome of the bail hearing of accused killer of Stasha Arendse, Randy Tango, on Wednesday. Tango’s trial was postponed to 10th May, with the judge claiming he had a right to a fair bail application and a fair trial. outside with the community.

“Where is the fairness in (Tango) killing this child and in the manner in which he did? Now he wants to use his right to fairness. How fair would it be to the Mitchells Plain community if (he) gets bail? Will our girls be safe? Will our children be safe?”

Evans vows to support the Mitchells Plain community and is initiating a ‘1000 letter’ campaign that calls upon residents across the Western Cape to send them letters opposing bail for Tango. The cluster plans to submit these to the Department of Justice before Tango’s hearing next Wednesday.

Evans refers to Tango and alleged killer of Rene Roman, Andrew Plaatjies, as “monsters”, demanding that action must be taken against other “monsters” in the community to “take their children back”.

“What is being done about other monsters in the community that are grooming our children, where children run away from school and they run to these houses,” concludes Evans.

Evans experience spans a variety of spheres working in the capacity of both a volunteer and staff member. This includes working with people with HIV, orphaned and vulnerable children, trade unions and worker rights and the NGO Rape Crisis. VOC

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