Communities plagued by gang violence came together last week to take a stand against crime.
Residents from Lotus River, Parkwood and Hillview have had meetings, peaceful protests and a stand-off with politicians to address shootings in the areas (see pages 2 and 7).
On Saturday concerned Parkwood residents handed over a memorandum demanding immediate intervention from City Law Enforcement, Metro police and police to deal with shootings and crime in Parkwood.
Led by community worker Paul Phillips, a group of residents met on the corner of Acacia Road and Blackbird Avenue on Saturday September 8 to address the gang violence and daily shootings between the Junky Funky Kids, Mongrels and the Six Bob gangs.
The memorandum was handed to and signed by Ward 66 councillor William Akim. The memorandum states that the ongoing gang warfare has a negative effect on the social and economic development of the community and has traumatic and disturbing effects, especially on children and seniors and that several innocent people have been injured and killed by gang shootings.
It further states: “We hereby categorically make it clear that as a community we have exhausted all attempts and that we have had enough and are fed up with the empty promises and no response to previous demands and communication to the City of Cape Town and police.”
In the memorandum residents also requested a meeting with relevant officials to come up with a plan to address the gang war in Parkwood.
Mr Phillips said daily shootings have been reported in Parkwood.
“When people were protesting for houses we had daily presence of law enforcement, police and law enforcement officers. Now they are shooting in Parkwood again and there’s no police or law enforcement agencies. Peaceful protesters were shot with rubber bullets, why can’t they tackle the gangsters like that?” asked Mr Phillips.
“I think the authorities don’t have the ability to properly address the gang problem. So the problem becomes bigger and worse and right now we are at our worst. These gangsters are shooting at all hours and putting the lives of many at risk,” he said.
Mr Phillips added; “The law enforcement agencies say people need to come forward with information but the community will never respond when there is no trust or relationship,” he said.
Elizabeth Hendricks buried her daughter and son-in-law in June last year after they were gunned down in Parkwood Avenue.
“Parents are not meant to bury their children but that is what’s happening. We need to stand together and we need police to do what they are supposed to do and to get more enforcement if possible. Enough is enough.” she said.
Mr Akim said he will present the memorandum to the necessary officials in the City and report back.
The residents have given officials three days to respond and have called a meeting to be held at the same location on Thursday September 20 at 6pm.
Southern Mail contacted SAPS for comment, but by the time this edition went to print, they had not yet responded.