Locals say ‘We need solutions’

2020-03-10 06:02
Fadiel Adams camped outside Parliament to get government to act on child murders. PHOTO: KAYLYNNE BANTOM

Fadiel Adams camped outside Parliament to get government to act on child murders. PHOTO: KAYLYNNE BANTOM

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Seven days. This is how long a Cape Town father went without food or water to express his disappointment in national government following a spike in child murders in and around Cape Town.

Fadiel Adams camped outside the gates of the National Assembly for a week, from Wednesday 26 February, calling on government to take drastic action.

Adams, is an activist for Gatvol Capetonian, a movement that aims to fight for total equality with a strong emphasis on the so-called coloured community.

Adams says: “We can’t look to this government for answers. This government has failed a very simple mandate which is to keep our children safe. No answers, no accountability, no action. At the end of the day, we are going to have to take care of ourselves. Our police minister doesn’t care, his children live behind gated fences, while our children live in homes that doesn’t have a fence.”

He further went on to say that this is not a government for the people. “I want the police minister to step down. I want the president to tell the people what he is going to do to make sure our children do not get killed anymore. I am a father, I have nieces and nephews and they are all at risk. I won’t sit back and watch how they get killed.”

When People’s Post spoke to Adams on Tuesday 3 March, he was attended to by paramedics who said Adams suffered from dehydration, body weakness and a drop in his blood pressure.

Adams expressed that on Monday 2 March he started taking fluids for the first time since he decided to set up camp.

On Wednesday 4 March, Adams’ health continued to deteriorate which brought an end to his hunger strike.

Sakeena Frenchman, secretary of the movement, says: “A member from the presidency came out to speak to us on Wednesday. He said that he will go to the president’s office and get someone to come and speak to us, asking if we would be willing to speak to them. A high-ranking member of the presidency came out, we handed them a verbal memorandum of demands a six page hard copy on Friday 6 March.”

She says some of the demands include that the president replace Bheki Cele with a “competent” policeman.

Another demand was a total ban on parole for anyone found guilty of any violent act and a complete review of the entire parole system and parole board. “They have been given 21 days to get back to us with constructive feedback,” says Frenchman.

At least four child murders dominated news headlines in February. Tazné van Wyk (8) from Elsies River was abducted and murdered. Emaan Solomons (7) was killed in a crossfire between gangs in Ocean View. The eight-year-old Reagan Gertse from Tulbagh was killed by a family member and the body of Sibusiso Dakuse (12) from Hout Bay was also discovered after he went missing.

Sharna Fernandez, provincial minister for social development, says: “There is not a day that goes by that we don’t hear of a young child being killed or injured by someone generally known to the family. We need to ask our communities to work with us, as government, to try and resolve what is becoming our biggest challenge in the province.”

Fernandez added: “We need to work together to eliminate the scourge of violence which is killing our women and children.”

Adams warned that he is only getting started: “This is only the beginning. We need everyone’s help in bringing about the change we so desperately need.”

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