This Saturday, 26 April, the day before we celebrate Freedom Day, the Treatment Action Campaign will march in protest against continued violence in Cape Town communities. This march aims to raise awareness on issues of abuse of woman and children specifically and to galvanise support for community initiatives that work to eradicate the epidemic of violence in our communities.
The protest action will take place in Khayelitsha and aims to respond to the levels of violent crime in the area. It has been primarily prompted by specific cases of violence, namely:
- The tragic rapes and murders Lorna Mlofana (2003), a TAC-community educator, and Nandipha Makeke (2005), a TAC-activist.
- The intimidation of TAC members and members of the community by gangsters in the Harare area.
- The assault on Nwabisa Ngcukana at Noord Taxi Rank by taxi drivers and hawkers for wearing a miniskirt.
Saturday's protest action will take place in two parts:
- We will convene at Harare Park in Harare Khayelitsha (between 33 and 34 section) at 10am and march to the Harare Police Station where we will hand over a memorandum to the Harare Police and the representative from the Office of MEC of Community Safety. En route we will pass the place at which Nandipha Makeke was raped and murdered.
- Following this march members from TAC and the Western Cape Youth Commission (WCYC) will move to the Site C taxi rank where a memorandum will be handed over to the representatives of the local taxi associations. This aspect of the portest will be led and organised by the WCYC.
We call on all people in our communities, and all local role-players to unite and stand together as we work to eradicate gender-based violence and abuse of vulnerable groups in our communities. We also urge government and local government and municipal structures to partner us in this cause.
Our action bears witness to the strength of our democracy and foundation of human rights on which we build our future.
Here are the key points in the memorandum that will be handed over:
We call for:
- Community action and mobilisation to rid our communities of gangsterism and crime.
- Better and faster prosecution within the court system;
- Creation of more rape crisis centres along the Simelela model;
- Faster identification and arrest of criminals;
- Better investigations and collection of evidence (including forensic evidence);
- More human and financial resources allocated to the SAPS;
- Improvement of the victim empowerment units and FCS units;
- An end to victimisation of survivors by police and court officials;
- Strong sentences for murder and rape offenders;
- Scaling up visible community protection programs;
- Speeding up the implementation of Sexual Offences Courts and their decentralisation to districts with high levels of Gender Based Violence;
- Increasing resources for criminal rehabilitation services;
We call on all stakeholders, including government, to work together to achieve these objectives. We want to work in partnership with the South African Police Services and other elements of the law enforcement and criminal justice systems to achieve these objectives.
Please direct any inquiries relating the march to the following TAC spokespeople: