Moms Move for Justice (MMJ) recently took to the street of the CBD voicing concerns about the gang violence claiming the lives of their children and the lack of progress made within the judicial system. The group handed over a memorandum of demands to the Department of Justice and the Police Services. In August, the mothers finally had an opportunity to meet with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to voice their concerns.
MMJ, which is an organization that assists mothers of gang violence victims, was founded by Avril Andrews after her son was killed as a result of gang violence.
To give us feedback on the proceedings of the meetings, VOC spoke to Andrews, who had also organised the march.
Andrews explains that while the memorandum was scheduled to be handed to advocate Hishaam Mohamed and Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula, the demands were handed to a representative.
The concerns raised within the memorandum include; increased police visibility, justice for the killed children, and improved communication between SAPS and parents of victims.
“Some of the issues were for the justice system, which we haven’t touched on yet we are still waiting on advocate Muhammad to come back to us. But the SAPS are working on it.”
Andrews said that following the handing over of the memorandum, the group requested that they receive official response within 14 days.
She confirmed that within the 14-day period, the general responded and arranged the first meeting with the group for August 16, 2016.
The group met in a second meeting on Tuesday, August 30, in which the mothers of victims were granted an opportunity to speak with the general and the detective to voice their concerns.
In light of the emotional turmoil that mothers of victims of gang violence experience, Andrews says that the drawn-out process by politicians further adds to their trauma.
“Politicians just say that the moms are hiding stuff for their kids, but not all moms are doing that. And these moms can’t heal because they get criticized by their communities. Living in these communities, some of the mother’s lives in fear for their lives,” she continued.
The MMJ is currently awaiting a response from Advocate Mohamed, after which the group will plan its next step.