“We as the Western Cape Shutdown Movement call for greater co-operation between all spheres of government, policing agencies and metro policing forces, together with civil society, religious organisations and organised labour.”
This was the impassioned plea of United Public Safety Front founder John Cloete and a group of about 300 people from an umbrella of Cape Flats community-based organisations who marched to Parliament and the Legislature yesterday. The anti-crime demonstration was initiated behind the banner of the Western Cape United Safety Front to highlight gang violence.
Cloete said the march highlighted safety, with reference to gang violence, gang murder, attempted murder, rape and violence against women and children in the Western Cape.
“We are under siege in terms of violence and gangstersm. We call on government to be responsive to the pleas of the nation and bring about change,” Cloete said.
Cloete said it was clear that government alone could not deal with the increased levels of violence.
Residents, trade unionists and organisations that deal with child and women abuse from Mitchells Plain, Ocean View, Elsies River, Manenberg and Lavender Hill, took part in the protest.
Community Safety Forum chairperson Roegshanda Pascoe said they are relieved that government took the time to listen to the residents. She said they are grateful that the Chairperson of the Police Portfolio Committee, Francois Beukman, accepted their memorandum on behalf of government and agreed to meet with them to ensure that the necessary measures are put in place to assist the community.
“The highlight for us is that government is starting to acknowledge that we are facing a serious problem and they are now willing to assist us where needed,” Pascoe added.
Cape Flats community-based organisations marched to Parliament and the Legislature to demand a crackdown on gangs and woman, child abuse.
The march came nine days after the Western Cape Total Shutdown protest in Bonteheuwel, Hanover Park and Kensington.
The memorandum handed over by the Western Cape United Safety Front demands police patrols and the appointment of a children’s commissioner.