Waging a holy war on gangsterism

2018-09-25 06:01
Evangalists Clint Abrahams and Chezron Adams are moved during a song. PHOTOS: Samantha lee

Evangalists Clint Abrahams and Chezron Adams are moved during a song. PHOTOS: Samantha lee

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“I have been involved in so many initiatives and approaches in ending the gang violence and killings in Tafelsig. We have done everything humanly possible and none of it has worked. The one thing we have not tried is to ask God to intervene here.”

These are the words of community worker Joanie Fredericks, organiser of a mass prayer service held smack-bang in the centre of a “war-zone”.

Held on a pitch in Olifantshoek Street, the field is synonymous with killings, shootings and violence in an ongoing turf war, residents say.

For this reason, scores of Tafelsig residents, along with pastors, evangelists and prayer warriors joined together to wage a “holy war on gangsterism”.

With reformed gangsters preaching and pastors leading praise and worship sessions, many left the space optimistic that a divine solution was the only way to end the scourge.

Lorraine Davids, a resident close to the location says they joined the initiative as it links closely to an initiative they recently started in the area.

“We are a group of women who come out to pray as prayer warriors. We have been called to do this by God’s command,” she says.

In her call to residents, Fredericks said the leaders and congregants of the many institutions in Tafelsig could make a difference if they all stood together. “For too long we have been seeing how church after church is being erected right in the middle of our community. It is not an exasperation to say that there is a church or mosque or some form of religious structure in almost every third street in Tafelsig.”

The service was held on Thursday.

Fredericks says something needed to be done as it was stopping many from development­.

“In running my learner classes, I realised many could not come to the classes because of the violence. In thinking about all of this, for me it is an admittance that Tafelsig needs God. It does not matter what religion you belong to. As human beings we have proven that we are helpless [without God],” she says.

Fredericks further vowed that the initiative would be taken to every corner of the area, until Tafelsig was drug and gang free.

“As communities on the Cape Flats, we must stop marching to Parliament when our problems are here in our community. The people who are shooting are not coming from outside. They are [our family]. We must look inside and address it here,” she says. “On request, we have decided that every two weeks we will seek out all the hotspots in Tafelsig and then on request from residents.”

The service featured praise and worship, prayer circles and testimony from residents, community workers and pastors.

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