On Monday, mothers who have lost children to gang violence, accompanied by various community members, took to streets of the CBD as part of the Moms Move for Justice and the Alonso Foundation’s march to Parliament. In a bid to expedite the judicial process and finally have closure, the mothers handed a memorandum to the Department of Justice and the South Africa Police Services (SAPS). Organisers of the march are, however, saying that the memorandum was not received well.
Founder of Moms Move for Justice and co-ordinator of the march, Avril Andrews, says that while she had emailed advocate Hishaam Mohamed and Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula on the July 22, 2016, their listed grievances were not perused through prior to the march.
While she was not at liberty to divulge the exact contents of the memorandum, Andrews says that the memorandum details the grievances of moms who feel that the system has failed them. She further notes that the memorandum requests the reply of authorities within 14 days.
“After the elections, things will change – as Advocate Mohamed indicated – so we will wait for after the elections.”
Andrews, who has lost her son as a result of gang violence, explains that as mothers continue to battle for justice, many continue to be uninformed both about their rights, as well as vital information about their respective cases.
She says many mothers have cited concern thatthey have not been adequately attended to when approaching officers at various police stations,
“It is as if it is just another number. With the huge number of killings, I don’t know if it is simply too much for the police [to handle],”she adds.
Andrews says that as a result of the lack of action and assistance on the part of SAPS and the judicial system, some mothers were forced to withdraw their cases.
In light of a general connection between gang violence and race demographics, she says that the manner in which their cases are dealt with reflects a level of racism.
“It is a lot to do with our coloured women. If this would have happened elsewhere, it would have been [dealt with] differently.”
In response to criticism of parents of gangsters, who many describe as irresponsible, Andrews says that many parents remain silent about the whereabouts of gang members and leaders as they fear for their lives. VOC