Cape Argus

Who cares about the killing of children on Cape Flats?


A PROMISING young learner, 16-year old Riedewaan Boltman, was gunned down on Sunday last week, and killed for no apparent reason. By all accounts it appears to be a ganginitia­tion shooting.

It’s not the first time that a young child has been gunned down in this location in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain, which has has no lighting because the City refuses to fix the lighting in the area.

Days later a 13-year-old girl seriously wounded during a shooting in Leiden in Delft died in hospital. This shooting also claimed the lives of three adults. The Atlantis community is living in fear, as a gang war has claimed two lives in 24 hours, according to another news report. This violence is prevalent across the Cape flats. At what point do we actually care? The fact that so many children are dying in the Cape Flats due to indiscrimi­nate shootings is a reflection on each and every one of us. It is a reflection on a society and a system that has lost its humanity. We march, protest and spit venom when we see children killed in Palestine, but we are apathetic when our own are murdered by scum that the police are often in cahoots with.

As the Bishop Lavis Action Group says: “We have argued that the gangs in the Western Cape are sophistica­ted criminal networks. We have argued that they are armed militias that kill at will and who recruit child soldiers into their ranks. The national government refuses to acknowledg­e this argument and refuses to view these gangs as constituti­ng a direct threat to the security of the citizens of the Republic of South Africa. Provincial­ly and at local government level, the DA too refuses to heed our argument and allocates most of their existing metro police and law enforcemen­t officers to police the suburbs and tourist areas.”

We must acknowledg­e that our society is at war with its children and women. We must acknowledg­e that politician­s serve their own interest and that of the elite. We hence must conclude that we as society are on our own and we have to find solutions within our communitie­s. It does mean that we must unite and stand together as one community.

According to the Bill of Rights Chapter 2 Section 12 (1), everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources.

According to the Constituti­on Chapter 11 Section 205 (3), the objects of the police service are to prevent, combat and investigat­e crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitant­s of the Republic and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law.

It is clear that this government whether national or provincial does not deliver as mandated by the Constituti­on and it appears that not everyone is equal before the law. Our children are dying, they are being killed and nobody cares. They are dispensabl­e, they are little gangsters from the Cape Flats.


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