Bonteheuwel residents demand more police

“There has been shooting on a daily basis” says resident of 50 years

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Photo of protest
Residents of Bonteheuwel shouted “We want peace. We taking back our streets.” Photo: Thembela Ntongana

About 150 people marched through the streets of Bonteheuwel on Sunday. They demanded that the South African Police Service (Saps) end gang violence in the community.

“We want peace. We taking back our streets,” shouted the residents.

Resident Soraya Salie says she has been living in the community for more than 50 years. She says there has always been violence but it has gotten a lot worse.

“There has been shooting on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter what time of the day: early morning, late night, afternoon, during school time next to schools,”

“My grandchild was telling me that the police were at his school and they were showing them how to duck when the bullets fly. And I was thinking Grade R and they getting this type of learning at school … while they could be learning other things. And that is how bad things have become because they are shooting at our primary schools and that is why we as a community are standing up today,” said Salie.

She says more police visibility would make a lot of difference in the community.

A memorandum of the residents demands called for more visible policing at schools and deployment of more police across the Cape Flats.

The residents also demanded that all gang related cases from the greater Bonteheuwel area be prioritised, and for SAPS to stop granting bail to known offenders.

Chairperson of the Community Policing Forum, Isaac Basson, said the community lives in fear. No one feels safe.

“Fear is one of the things that people in Bonteheuwel have to deal with on a daily basis no one feels safe, when children go to school parents fear that their children might not return home. When you open the door you do not know what is waiting outside it. Death has became a normal thing in our community,” said Basson.

The memorandum was signed by Nyanga cluster commander Major Vincent Beaton and Deputy Provincial Commissioner for operational services Thembisile Patekile.

Beaton said they were very pleased that the community has taken a stand. He promised to reply to the memorandum within the seven days that the residents had given.

TOPICS:  Crime Government Human Rights Policing

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