The Total Shutdown Movement, which initiated the shutdown on 25 September last year, is planning to host a public engagement session later today regarding the escalating gang-violence that continues to fester in the Western Cape – despite the deployment of the SANDF. The movement rejects the call for the army and has expressed frustration at the lack of progress made in addressing the demands laid out during last year’s protest.
“What we are saying as a shutdown community is that we are going to check the call of the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF)…It’s a knee jerk response from government’s side and it’s not addressing the causes [of the violence and crime] raging across the Cape Flats,” said spokesperson for the Total Shutdown Movement, Yaseen Johaar.
“We are trying to represent the real voices of the working class…we feel the SANDF doesn’t possess the power SAPS does to investigate crime and arrest suspected criminals in line with the Criminal Procedure Act. The justice system isn’t doing its job to keep our people accountable.”
According to Johaar, the movement’s objectives are “only to stop the violence and criminal activities raging across the Cape Flats”.
He has also indicated that he finds a direct link between the South African economic system and the existence of organised crime in the Cape Flats.
“Unless Bishop Lavis can look like Bishops Court and unless Langa can look like Constantia, we will not be able to eradicate organised crime in the Cape Flats. In these conditions, gangs can survive,” said Johaar.
“At the end of the day, we can all agree that this is capitalism in its most barbaric form.”
Johaar has extended an invitation to all organisations leading their respective communities to attend the meeting, including the communities of Langa, Nyanga and Khayelitsha.
According to reports, last year’s shutdown protest by the movement was similarly against increasing violence and crime, unemployment, poverty and neo-liberalism.
The meeting is planned for 18:30pm on Tuesday evening at the Bishop Lavis Sports Ground – A1 Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis.