The dangers of Guy Fawkes celebrations

There have been renewed calls for Guy Fawkes celebrations to be cancelled.

Melvyn Jonkers, Grassy Park Community Police Forum

That dreaded day is drawing closer – Guy Fawkes Day. This celebration should be stopped and or banned.

In the last few years, numerous calls have gone out for the total banning of Guy Fawkes fireworks celebrations. The Grassy Park CPF at its executive committee meeting on Tuesday October 12, recognising the danger associated with Guy Fawkes, decided that a call should go out for a ban, and if not granted, extreme safety measures to protect innocent citizens from wanton violence and resultant injury, to be put in place.

Guy Fawkes Day is one of those meaningless celebrations that has nothing to do with South Africa. We hold that if colonial and Apartheid names on public places need to be removed, then this colonial nonsense should also be removed from the calender of South Africa.

Guy Fawkes Day has become more violent as mobs roam the streets of our townships, assaulting people and smearing them with paint. Parents fear for the safety of their children as in the past, children coming from school were molested, accosted and intimidated. Similarly cars are stoned and reckless handling of fireworks cause damage to people’s homes.

In 2017 , an Elsies River family lost their home and belongings as a result of a fire caused by fireworks lobbed onto the roof of the house.

There are many other examples of damage caused by this senseless event. Animals are traumatised and in some cases even brutalised. This must stop.

The CPF calls for the total ban of Guy Fawkes celebrations. We call on parents to be vigilant and responsible. Do not buy fireworks for your children – don’t perpetuate a senseless colonial event. Assist by stopping this nonsense.

The City Of Cape Town has not demarcated spaces for letting off of fireworks , and it follows that no permits will be issued for the sale of fireworks.

We, the Grassy Park CPF call on all Law Enforcement agencies to be firm in enforcing the regulations pertaining to the sale and use of fireworks. The state agencies issuing permits to shopkeepers to stock and sell fireworks are not doing this country a favour.

We say stop it now.