Mitchell’s Plain community safety activists standing with placards, posters and police crime scene tape strapped around their bodies caused a stir outside the SAPS Western Cape office.
Cape Flats Safety Forum chairman, Abie Isaacs, secretary, Lynn Phillips and a few other members protested outside provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile’s office, in Green Point, on the eve of Reconciliation Day, Thursday December 15.
The non-profit organisation, based in Mitchell’s Plain, has 150 members, from beyond its borders, including Parow, Manenberg, Lavender Hill and Hanover Park.
“I want to tell them (police) my body is not a crime scene,“ said Ms Phillips.
She said her mouth was taped shut because when innocent people are killed, they cannot speak.
Wrapped with chains Ms Phillips said she represented how women are killed and raped.
“They (murderers and rapists) tie us up like this,” she said.
Mr Isaacs said they came to the office of the “ultimate custodian of safety in the province”.
“We know that he is not here. But we know he got the message because of the police officers who have approached us the vans that have pulled up,” he said.
Five people were shot at in Mitchell’s Plain, two in Beacon Valley and three in Eastridge, on Monday December 12 just two days after end of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign on Saturday December 10.
Ms Phillips said there were daily shootings on the Cape Flats.
She said that the community did not trust the police because of corrupt “sinister forces“ and allegations made by Western Cape High Court Judge Daniel Thulare, relating to corrupt links between gangs and police.
“We have become frustrated by the reactionary response from the police, when they only arrive after the shooting.
“Why are they not getting the guns off from the street,” she asked.
Mr Isaacs said that they needed “action now”.
The forum is also a partner of Gun Free South Africa, a national non-government organisation committed to reducing gun violence through public policy advocacy, education, awareness and community mobilisation.
While they were outside the provincial commissioner’s office community activist against gender-based violence Venetia Orgill, from Beacon Valley, again attempted to chain herself to the gates of parliament.
In February 2020 she drew public attention, when she stood in chains outside the National Assembly for 12 hours, from 3am until 3pm, before the Budget speech by (then) finance minister Tito Mboweni.
On Thursday December 15 the police officers told her to stand across the road.
Ms Orgill said her night vigil was in honour of those who survived rape and murder.
“In the dark, they rape and murder … in the dark, we will unite,” she said.
She said she hopes that healing can begin.
“I’m here to bring a strong message of healing. It is time our country heals,” she said.
Ms Orgill wants to break the chains to start talking.
“Let’s be kind. Let’s be forgiving. Let’s be loving towards each other, more caring of one another. We need to show love and respect to get it back. Try to work things out so that if we work things out we can understand each other,” she said.
She said healing should start with oneself in that working through the trauma one would be able to be free from the abuse and the abuser.