'I want to die of old age, not murder' - Ocean View resident

2017-04-08 12:06

Cape Town - A silent protest against crime in Ocean View on Friday morning turned violent when youths attempted to block roads by burning tyres and throwing stones.

Police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse them.

Residents told GroundUp that gunshots and murder have became normal in their community. People are killed on a weekly basis.

From as early 05:00 on Friday, while many South Africans were preparing for the marches against President Jacob Zuma, Ocean View residents were saying “crime must fall”.

They stood with placards, in silence, at the entrance of the area, near Kommetjie.

The number of recorded murders in the Ocean View policing precinct has increased from between 19 and 26 a year between 2005 and 2015, to 41 last year.

(Thembela Ntongana, GroundUp)

'I live in fear'

Stephanie Jafta, 42, was born and raised in Ocean View. She says the area has changed for the worse.

“I am angry more than I am scared,” says the mother of four, who works as a community health worker.

“I live in fear for me and my children.”

What worries her daily is having her children walk to school through “hotspot” areas.

“I want to protect them but I can’t because I also need to work and put food on the table. Parents need to speak out. It’s our children that are doing these things. If you know your child has a gun or drugs in the house, go to the police,” she says.

Another resident, who did not want to be identified, says people are too scared to speak up.

“We know who these people are. We know where they stay, but we are scared. The whole community is scared because we do not want to be victims as well. I want to die of old age not because I was murdered by some low-life thug.”

Call for better policing

He says residents have lost trust in the police because they have failed them so many times.

Ocean View shares a police station with three other areas, including Masiphumelele, which also has a serious crime problem.

In 2015, Masiphumelele residents staged several violent protests to demand better policing from the Ocean View police station.

Community leader Patrick Joseph says a campaign was starting to restore Ocean View to the way it was.

“We want justice. The gangs are taking over the community. People are scared. The justice system is failing us. People are being arrested and released the same day. There are shootings happening in front of schools by gangsters fighting for turf.

“We are low priority. Now the question is, do we take the law into our own hands because people are tired of empty promises?”

He says the city blamed national government.

“New station commanders come and go leaving us with empty promises.”

Read more on:    cape town  |  gang violence  |  crime
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