‘Freedom is living without fear of crime’

2015-04-30 14:42
Residents formed a human chain along Standford Road during one of the anti-crime initiatives that were held in Nelson Mandela Bay on Freedom Day. 

photo: werner hills

Residents formed a human chain along Standford Road during one of the anti-crime initiatives that were held in Nelson Mandela Bay on Freedom Day. photo: werner hills

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THE freedom to live one’s life without fear of crime was the central theme of Freedom Day gatherings on Monday.

The brutal killings last week of teacher Jayde Panayiotou (29) and Addo farmer Alan Clarke (62) led to a “Heal our Metro” Rally which was attended by over 1 500 people on the Donkin Reserve on Monday afternoon.

“We wanted to create a space where people can reconnect with one another as human beings,” said one of the organisers, Dean Biddulph.

He and events organiser Renaldo Gouws arranged the rally in the space of a few days.

“There was no political motive for the rally or anyone making a profit. With all that has been going on in recent times I felt we are in such a low place as South Africans and that we have lost touch with our humanity. One just has to look at social media to see the hostility that there is among communities. And I had to think hard on where to start to make a change,” said Biddulph.

The rally was not only paying tribute to Panayiotou and Clarke, but also to those who have lost loved ones due to crime and the wave of xenophobia currently sweeping across South Africa.

According to Biddulph, residents need to unite and begin taking back the country in making it the country that we all want it to be. “We are bigger than recent events; we are better than those who would steal our humanity from us,” said Biddulph.

Those who attended the event were encouraged to bring along an apple to be donated to charity.

“An apple is symbolic as it is not only something a pupil would give to a teacher, but also of the fact that a farmer was killed,” said Biddulph.

Another anti-crime campaign held on Monday, was a human chain against crime in the Northern Areas which is rife with crime, drug abuse and gangsterism.

The human chain was formed along Standford Road between Korsten and Booysens ­Park

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