Pastor Paul Phillips, Voice of Parkwood
Last week another small white coffin was carried through the streets of Parkwood Estate (“Boy, 7, dies in crossfire”, Southern Mail September 6).
Among the hundreds of mourners there was not one dry eye as the community said their last farewell.
* saw the pain and anguish in the mother’s eyes as she was torn away from viewing her seven-year-old son’s remains for the last time.
Pupils and creche children lined the street as the hearse slowly led us to yet another burial place at the children’s section of the cemetery.
Maybe this son (Ezra Daniels) could have been the next leader, maybe the next role model…
The senseless slaying of our children, youth and innocent citizens, has become a daily occurrence in our communities – like it’s the norm – like it is part of the normal daily township living. The abnormal has been accepted as normal.
Just as quiet as the graves of those victims of crime are, so eerily quiet are the voices of the authorities and some leaders on the matter.
In the last instance of the killing of this seven-year-old child, it was the community who took matters in their own hands.
Meeting with SAPS on why we don’t hear from them at this time when the community is bleeding, we are told the newly appointed commander at Grassy Park is off sick and did not report for duty yet. Same applies for Department of Community Safety: MEC Dan Plato is out of the country and will attend to the matter when he gets back. Surely there are deputies, replacements and people in charge? Surely one person is
not an entire department?
Such happenings should be dealt with harshly, with all the might of the justice system. Our leaders must come out strongly in condemning the killing of innocent children. Departments as mentioned should be the voices condemning such actions the loudest.
This voice should echo from our pulpits, in our streets, in our discussions, around the dinner table, at schools… it must be a loud and clear voice of opposition.
Then must follow the actions. Evict criminals from City-rented stock and give the house to those who need it most. Open church facilities for programmes, youth activities and support groups. Rally around common goals in unity such as when bail is opposed at courts.
Stop being a spectator. Become a game changer. Become part of the solution. Give your input at meetings and attend them. Start doing those things that you want changed in the community.
Begin with a clean-up drive. Start a street committee. There is a task and role for every individual in changing and transforming our communities.