Offence against education in Retreat

2019-11-26 06:01

It is with grave concern that I express the urgent need for the recent barbaric act of human rights violation perpetrated against our community by criminals who destroyed the Retreat Library to be addressed.

Libraries are centres of learning and community development that act as safe spaces for our children who lack extracurricular activities at our schools, and who are continually threatened by gangsterism and violence, sometimes even within the home.

Libraries also offer our elders the same kind of safety and development. Libraries are spaces invested with community-will, which, tragically, these criminals destroyed, clearly in ignorance of the power of literacy and self-respect.

But questions remain. Where were the police? This act of violence happened within eye-shot and walking distance from the library. Did an alarm not go off? What does the CCTV footage from the camera which was installed by the City of Cape Town, advocated by the Retreat Steenberg Civic Association, show? Should there not have been 24-hour security personnel stationed at the library, given the kinds of resources kept on the premises? How do we begin to assess the social impact of this terrorist act?

Mary Jansen, Retreat
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