‘Our children deserve better’

Candice Mentor, Steenberg

To all role-players, this morning I write this letter with tears in my eyes. Once again an innocent man was shot as a
result of the ongoing violence.

Aldo Samuels was a God-fearing husband, father and friend and his life like that of so many others on the Cape Flats has been cut short because of crime that is rife in our community.

I am sure you receive many such letters. Whether you take our plight seriously I do not know but I am a 34-year-old single mother of an 11-year-old boy and, unlike boys his age in plush suburbia, he cannot just be innocent and play outside. No sir/ madam, he must come home straight from school and lock himself in because it is not safe. As a matter of fact, I must be too afraid to send my son to the spaza shop.

Since November there have been daily shootings in Hillview. Sometimes you see the police, sometimes you don’t. As a parent you must fear to send your child to school and even when they’re at school you must fear dismissal time because you never know what might happen. You sit at work and if you hear your phone ring you are too afraid to answer because
“what if’”.

We are held ransom in our communities and none of you have come up with a plan to alleviate this crisis. This is a state of emergency. Is it because we are only “coloured” and the only time we are seen is election time?

We need a resolution. How many children must grow up without fathers? How many mothers must lose children? We asked for a stronger police presence or
army intervention but got nothing. Must we also loot and protest
and burn a few buildings before we are heard?

I am tired, tired of being treated as an afterthought. Our people deserve better, our children deserve to play without fear.

* Ms Mentor later told Southern Mail: I emailed this letter to role-players on Wednesday February 28 and I am yet to receive a reply.

Since then thus far in Lavender Hill/Steenberg numerous innocent people have been killed and many more injured because
of the ongoing
violence in the community.

Imagine my anger and outrage, I am yet to receive a reply
from any of the offices this email was addressed to in February. The people of Fish Hoek
had a man knifed down for his bike and the whole Western Cape, including the premier, will be at a meeting, meanwhile, in Lavender Hill and Steenberg, a mother on her way to the shop is gunned down, a man on his way to church is gunned down, a child walking to school is gunned down and not a reply.

Do so-called coloured lives not matter? Our children have a right to be

From a very angry tired coloured mother.

* Ms Mentor said she emailed her letter to the presidency, the mayor’s office and national police.