Mixed feelings as Reiger Parks waits for Zuma

2014-11-25 12:00
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Johannesburg - There were mixed feelings among members of the public in Reiger Park, Johannesburg, on Tuesday as they awaited the arrival of President Jacob Zuma to launch the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children.

"Today is very important, I have also been abused," Bernice Solomons said as she entered the large white tent which had been erected on the WJ Clements Stadium's field.

She said she was excited to see Zuma speak as she had only ever seen him on television.

Another woman entered the tent with six small children in tow and one strapped to her back.

Coming from a local creche, she also wanted to see Zuma and support the campaign.

Reiger Park resident Joey Krotz, however, had nothing good to say.


"What has he [Zuma] done for us in Eldorado Park and Reiger Park?" he asked in Afrikaans.

"Corruption, Nkandla, I don't even have a roof over my head," he said with disgust.

Outside, the Reiger Park Boys Brigade marched across the field hitting their drums.

The boys had all been taken off the street and cared for, the group's captain Sefari Jansen said.

Pamphlets explaining the campaign and what to do in the case of abuse where placed on every chair inside the tent.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance MP Denise Robinson said the DA's Women's Network (Dawn) would focus on how to eradicate violence against women and children by encouraging the reporting of abuse the moment one became aware of it.

Violence against women and children

Their theme for the campaign was "Blow the whistle on abuse", she said in a statement.

"Dawn believes much more needs to be done to break the silence and bring cases of abuse to the notice of the relevant authorities."

Robinson said the solution was everyone's responsibility.

At the stadium, loud music pumped across the field. At the entrance officials handed out 16 days of activism flags and T-shirts.

Outside, the street was filled with people and cars.

The campaign is held once a year to help prevent violence against women and children.

Recently three-year-old Cuburne Lavone van Wyk went missing, and his burnt body was found at a mine dump in Ramaphosa, Reiger Park.

Dragged along the road

A man was arrested and is due in court again in December.

Ten-year-old Siphamandla Madikane, from the Ramaphosa settlement, was found by a passer-by also at a mine dump in November last year.

Four-year-old Taegrin Morris from Delmore Gardens, near Reiger Park, died after his parents' car was hijacked.

He got stuck in the seatbelt and was dragged along the road and later found dead.

Earlier in November, the Boksburg Magistrate's Court withdrew all charges against Thamsanqa Twala, who had been accused of involvement in the death of the child, infuriating the community.

On Monday Gauteng premier David Makhura and a team of representatives from various departments met residents to discuss ways of dealing with the problems they faced.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  women's rights

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