Stand against crime

2015-08-11 06:00
Provincial minister for Community Safety Dan Plato signs the memorandum served to him by Bishop Edward and residents of Parkwood on Sunday.   
Chevon Booysen

Provincial minister for Community Safety Dan Plato signs the memorandum served to him by Bishop Edward and residents of Parkwood on Sunday. PHOTOS: Chevon Booysen

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United in numbers.

This is what Parkwood residents showed on Sunday while taking part in a thousand-man march through the streets of the crime-ridden area.

The residents took to the streets with religious leaders and various role players from different departments in provincial government to unite against crime and violence in the area, sending a strong message to criminals that they had had enough.

Voice of Parkwood chairperson Paul Phillips said during the march he was impressed with the turnout. “I want to thank everyone who came out here today to show their support. We can only fight crime together and we will continue doing so until criminals know they no longer have a place in Parkwood,” Phillips said.

“We will no longer accept that the minority in this area holds us hostage. We must take a stand and take ownership of our community again,” he added.

Provincial minister for community safety Dan Plato also attended the march, which started in Abdullah Moosa Walk.

Plato encouraged parents to speak out if their children were caught up in illegal activities.

“I will not stand here and believe that a mother who knows her child, claims she does not know that her child owns a gun. I will not believe that a mother who cleans her house every day does not know when her child is hiding drugs in her home.

“It is time that parents, especially mothers, take back their places in the community,” Plato pleaded.

During his address to residents, Plato confirmed that Voice of Parkwood had initiated a meeting with him which took place two weeks ago.

“The organisation came to me with their demands. These are the same demands they are reading out here today and I must say that there is no reason why those demands cannot be met. We will have to work together to achieve the results,” he said.

In a memorandum handed over on behalf of the youth in Parkwood, Sharon Agulhas said the community “has had enough of the inadequate services rendered by the Grassy Park police”.

“We are calling for our constitutional right to a safe environment, to be respected, applied and instituted in Parkwood. We are calling for the counter services to come closer to the community by means of the establishment of a satellite station,” Agulhas said.

Maureen Petersen, who read her memorandum to the department of correctional services, pleaded with the department to consult with the community before releasing parolees into the community.

“In our plight in the fight against crime we ask that the community be consulted before inmates are released back into our community. These are sometimes the same guys who communicate from behind bars on cellphones. They plan hits from inside prison... We also want the after-release programmes to be properly addressed,” Petersen said.

The memorandum was received by senior correctional official Johan Vorster.
Religious leader Bishop Edward Clark said with his memorandum handover that the community would no longer tolerate slaughtering of the youth.

“We want the bloodshed to end and call for the end to trauma caused to the elderly. We are calling on premier Helen Zille to request a commission of enquiry at the Grassy Park police station. We also call that the stabilisation unit be deployed in Parkwood.

“We also call for a safety kiosk to be established in the community as well as the installation of a shot spotter,” Clark said.
The memorandum was handed to Plato.
Resident Clement Sauls thanked the religious leaders who organised the march. “We are glad to see that they are fighting this thing with us,” he said.
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