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Nkosinathi Mokoena
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The day we become silent...

20 February 2013, 18:47

Last year I embarked on a journey of discovering and learning about the crime in South African Cities as a result, I registered for a course offered by the Law Faculty under public Law & Criminology Department called “Crime and Violence in South African Cities”.

The statistics were shockingly shocking as they were delivered by the lecture during the course of the year about South African Cities.

Same week were dealing with the statistics, as I was walking to campus, I passed by the Baxter Theatre and I saw young girls getting off the Bus.

They were probably going for a play at Baxter but those stats hit me deeply and began tearing that instant as I grieved for them. This was due to the FACT that statistics suggested that more than half are at risk of being raped.

It is even more touching to see UCT students and stuff that sacrificed their lunchtime and classes and joined the March to make their voiced is heard through those pla-cards written: “WE SAY ENOUGH”

This took place at UCT Jameson Hall Stairs as Thousands of UCT students and stuff gathered to show their support against violent crime in South Africa.

The March was triggered by UCT business science student, Bayanda Baba, was fatally shot in January 2013 in an attempted robbery while waiting for a bus in Khayelitsha and the gang rape and murder of Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen on 1 February – followed by the rape of 19-year-old Ge-Audrey Green, whose body was discovered just eight days later – are tragedies that affect us all.

In Addition, November 2007: Commercial law professor Mike Larkin was murdered in Rondebosch while walking home.

Science education professor Kevin Rochford was shot in his driveway in little Mowbray in April 2008.

September 2009: UCT medical student Benny Pakiso Maqobane was shot dead near his digs in Observatory.

February 2010: UCT student Dominic Giddy was killed during an attempted robbery against him & two other students in Observatory

Hundreds of University of Cape Town students demonstrated this fact in the moving candlelight vigil held by the SRC on Tuesday, 12 February.

As a result, The UCT SRC President posed the question “Are we too silent?” to the crowd whom were present at the demonstration.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Student Representative Council (SRC) President began his speech with a very touching statement quoting Martin Luther King when he says:  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.

The same question can be posed to the entire South Africa citizens. We read and hear about these fragile stories on daily basis. Are we doing something about it or we are too silent?

Violence in South Africa is endemic, I always ask myself that “when is my turn?” Anyone can be a victim. Tomorrow it might be my sister or brother.

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