Residents stand up to violence

2017-09-19 06:01
Residents of Kensington and Factreton joined a pray session against gang violence at the corner of Lugmag Avenue and Ventura Street last Sunday. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Residents of Kensington and Factreton joined a pray session against gang violence at the corner of Lugmag Avenue and Ventura Street last Sunday. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Church members from Kensington took a stand against gang violence in the area by holding a prayer session in one of the affected streets.

About 12 churches participated with hundreds of people supporting. During the prayer session, they formed a cross at the corner of Lugmag Avenue and Ventura Street, where most of the shootings take place.

Organisers say the “fraternal” prayer was an attempt to bring hope to residents that change is still possible and that they can make a difference together.

Kenneth Mitchell of the Docks Mission church says pastors of different congregations agreed to join in and pray for peace in the area because “it is everyone’s responsibility to fight social illnesses threatening the lives of innocent people”. He says a lot has been done but not much change has been gained over the past two months, yet they believe they would reach the criminals’ conscience with God’s intervention.

He says they are tired of living in fear and burying shooting victims every month. He says they call on whoever can help to talk sense into the fighting rival gangsters to call off the shootings.

Another pastor, Cedric Potgieter of the Kensington Worship Centre, says they decided to bring a cross to the road and ask residents to form a cross because they believe there is power in the cross.

“A cross is the most powerful weapon in the Bible and we believe by doing this we will be able to achieve positive results.”

During the prayer, pastors also called for more police visibility in the area. They said if the police were committed to doing their jobs and arresting suspects there would be less crime in the area.

Residents say they hope the attempts by different stakeholders will have positive­­ ­results.

One resident, David Jochems, says: “Life here is a nightmare, we live in fear day and night and initiatives like these are much needed. We do not even feel safe in our own houses because people have been shot and injured while thinking they are safe behind locked doors. We really need any sort of intervention that will help bring peace. We are grateful for the role our police have played, they have made some arrests but it is clear some shooters are still out there.”

Kensington police spokesperson Sergeant Angeline Grill agrees the prayer session was a positive gesture that is much needed by the community. She says though the police are doing the best they can to monitor the situation, community members must also play their part. She says the police continue to make arrests and investigate the shootings.


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