City-wide protest action

2019-09-10 06:01
Shaun Ross, manager at Tramway Football Club in Southfield, organised the peaceful protest on Wednesday 4 September. PHOTOS: Racine Edwardes

Shaun Ross, manager at Tramway Football Club in Southfield, organised the peaceful protest on Wednesday 4 September. PHOTOS: Racine Edwardes

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Following a spate of violent crimes committed against women and children, hundreds of residents from in and around the southern suburbs gathered to peacefully protest against woman and child abuse throughout the week.

Tramway Football Club in Southfield set the scene for one of these protests against gender-based violence on Wednesday 4 September.

Shaun Ross, manager at the club and organiser of the gathering, said: “We all know what’s happening in our society. I’m glad so many men are here today to stand with women and children, to say ‘enough is enough’.

“By turning a blind eye, by not acknowledging it, we become guilty. I’m happy to see the men here setting an example for young men so that we don’t have to have such gatherings in 10 or 20 years.”

Kashiefa Williams attended the march with her two children. Earlier she had also participated in the march that took place in the city’s central business district.

The teary-eyed resident said her reason for bringing her children was to expose them to what could happen out there.

“Nobody is doing anything about it. We were at the convention centre (Cape Town International Convention Centre) today, waiting for Cyril Ramaphosa, and nothing. How do they not hear us?

“Nobody is scared – they go to court and they get let out even though there’s someone who has been violated,”

Wiliams said her kids were there because they were the future and we needed to let them see.

“Maybe they can make a difference. The more they know, the better they will be able to take it on and be active,” she added.

Dawn Fish, a former activist for Mosaic, a women’s rights organisation, said the state of the world is making her uncomfortable.

“It’s coming closer to home. There is a terrible scourge of violence in our city; in our country. It is our responsibility as men and women to say ‘enough is enough’. We mustn’t feel hopeless and helpless, and we must keep faith that there will be a turnaround,” Fish said.

In another protest held on Thursday 5 September, staff, learners and beneficiaries from Where Rainbows Meet Training and Development Foundation and Sozo Foundation gathered on the corner of Prince George Drive and Vrygrond Avenue. Residents of Vrygrond and Marina Da Gama also joined in.

A Vrygrond resident who participated in the protest told People’s Post the crimes against women and children had affected her personally.

“One of my cousin’s children was raped when she was 10. Five years later, they are still in court with this case. She’s 15 now and we have to watch her because she’s tried to kill herself so many times.”

She hopes the protests will send the message that change is urgently needed.

“There are so many women who are being raped every month, every year – children being raped. I’m pleading with the government to make a change.”

Groups from across the city have continued to protest. Many have vowed not to stop until their cries were heard and a visible change was made.

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