March against crime in Khayelitsha
Residents demand better policing to combat gender-based violence
Dressed in bright yellow bibs, about 50 Khayelitsha residents occupied the traffic circle in Nkanini on Thursday, to raise awareness of violence in the area.
Marching from Ntlazane Road to Walter Sisulu Road, the group sang and waved placards written in isiXhosa: “Men, down with rape! Let the children have fun. Stop raping” and “Enough now. Stop abusing our children”.
Relebohile Maboyana, who lives in Newlands in Nkanini, said she had been living in the area for four years and “crime seems to be getting worse”.
“We are here today to say enough is enough. Children are being raped, women are being abused in Nkanini. We have decided as a community to stand up and be visible.”
“Some residents don’t even know which steps to take when they witness or are victims of violence,” said Maboyana.
Maboyana said Nkanini did not have a police station and residents had to take a taxi to Harare police station to report a crime.
“Just recently a mother had to go all the way to Harare police station when she found out that her young daughter and the daughter’s friend were raped. When she got to Harare, she was told to go and report the rape at Lingelethu West police station. Lingelethu sent her back to Harare, where she still received no proper help. She then decided to post her struggle on Facebook, which is when an organisation reached out to her and she managed to get help. This incident is also one of the reasons we are here today,” said Maboyana.
The marchers, who included members of the neighbourhood watch, sang a song which references the murder of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Mosuli Qhaba, a resident from Kuyasa, next to Nkanini, said he supported the march and hoped ways could be found to make policing more effective.
“We cannot be the ones doing the policing. Police need to do their own work.” He said criminals were released too quickly after arrest. “Our mothers, children and women are getting raped and it feels like government is doing nothing about it.”
He said the most frequent crimes in Kuyasa, Zwezwe and Nkanini were gang violence by young boys, muggings and rapes.
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