Gugulethu to shut down

Lwanda Mpondo addressing the crowd during the planning meeting of a shutdown in Gugulethu. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA
Lwanda Mpondo addressing the crowd during the planning meeting of a shutdown in Gugulethu. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

Different religious leaders, schools, businesses and organisations gathered at Gugulethu Comprehensive School on Tuesday 8 October to plot the “total shutdown” of the area.

The meeting was organised by the Gugulethu Development Forum (GDF) to plan the shutdown. The pending shutdown and the march are in response to the spate of gender-based violence that recently gripped the nation. The (shutdown and the march) will also highlight the plight of all the victims of genderbased violence from Gugulethu and the surrounding communities. It will also pay homage to those who lost their lives through brutality and corrective rape including the notorious killing of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a University of Cape Town student.

The shutdown was initially planned for Thursday next week, but at Tuesday’s meeting it was unanimously agreed to align the action with a mass protest planned for Thursday 24 October.

With the exception of all the essential services such as health, everything else including schools are excepted to shutdown. The move is expected to affect among others Nyanga, New Crossroads and all the surrounding areas.

The shutdown which will take place on 24 October from 10:00 until 14:00 will see Gugulethu mall closed for four hours while the community marches from the shopping mall to the Gugulethu police station.

Lwanda Mpondo, care support systems officer for the GDF, said the gender-based violence xenophobic attacks, crime and substance abuse is the reason they want to shutdown the area. He said all of this affects schools and businesses in the community which is why they have asked everyone to be involved. Mpondo said they also invited religious leaders because they can play a big role in fighting crime and violence.

The religious leaders will also offer prayers before the march and when they get to the police station. “There have been marches before in our community but this one will be different because it will be a shutdown of everything,” he said. They are inviting every member of the community young and old to join the march.

Mpondo said the shutdown will raise the noise they have been making as the community against crime and violence. “We want a crime free community where we can live freely and safe,” he said.

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