March against gang violence

Ward councillor Grant Twigg leads some community members during the march.

Scores of Scottsdene residents marched against gang violence in the area last Sunday.

The march was organised by Watsonia Park Action Group.

“We want peace and ask that gangs cease fire and sort out their problems peacefully,” said one of the marchers, Elvin Conradie.

Resident John Afrika said the march was a good idea.

“This is the great initiative that the community has taken. We need to come together as community and pray for these gang wars to stop. They (gang members) are driven by demons inside them. Our children can’t even play outside; they are scared,” he said.

He urged residents to take back their streets.

Basetsana Maboe, from Bernadino Heights, said it was time for the community to stand up against the gangs because the police could not fight crime on their own.

“We can’t fold our arms while our children dying outside. We are saying no to gang violence and to any kind of abuse against women and children.”

Ms Maboe said people also needed to hold their leaders to account.

“Let’s unite against crime, let’s unite against corruption and let’s say no to violence, and say no to rape. Let’s stand up and fight everything that we believe is wrong including gang violence in our societies.”

Ward councillor Grant Twigg urged gangsters to stop shooting and start talking.

“They must sit down and talk and resolve whatever problem they have because they killed innocent people. Within the last three months they killed more than 10 people due gang wars.”

He said the march targeted the hot spots in the area: Karma Street, Zoo Park and Joseph Avenue, among others.

Mr Twigg said he supported any campaign against gang violence irrespective of which organisation started it.

Provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the moratorium on crime statistics meant she could not divulge how many people had died in gang violence in the area in recent months.

However, police were “monitoring the situation”.