‘Stop killing our youth’

PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza
PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

Scores of residents, learners and community organisations embarked on a peaceful march in commemoration of slain Chad Arendse on Saturday 13 July.

The march was led by the marching squad of Littlewood Primary School, the squad that Chad coached. Newfields Primary School’s marching squad also joined. The march started at Littlewood Primary School and ended at Rocklands.

The Community Policing Forum (CPF) and police officers attended the march as marshals.

Chad, a 19-year-old from Beacon Valley was shot dead last month.

Organisers did not give many details of how Chad was killed but he died in Rocklands.

The march was a call for justice for Chad and intended to bring the message that gangsters must stop their senseless acts. Dozens of residents came to show support and to also ask for justice.

The group marched to the spot where he took his last breath to host a mini memorial service. When they arrived, the young marchers were in tears as they glanced at the spot where he died.

Organiser of the march, Rachel Anthony is an administrative clerk at Littlewood Primary School where Chad did his primary school education.

Anthony described the march as a cry from the community, appealing to the gangsters to stop their acts.

“We want to say to gangsters, stop killing our innocent people. Stop killing our youth,” she appealed.

Echoing her words was the school’s deputy principal, Carmen Williams.

Williams described Chad as an innovative and talented young man who had a lot to offer, not just in his area but in the whole of Cape Town.

She added that he was all about building up other children.

As a marching squad coach, she said he was creative and flexible; something she said was envied by other schools who would then follow the moves he taught his group.

Williams described the day as one that sought to demand justice for Chad who was the community’s young hero.

“The message is that we are not happy that young boys who are an inspiration to the community are killed untimely. We are also unhappy about drugs in our areas,” Williams expressed.

She said it was unfair that Chad died and it is alleged that he was killed by a gangster. She said he was never affiliated with anything gang-related.

She added the march was also to send a message that the community demands its freedom back.

“We want children in the community to feel free to walk where they want to without being afraid of being shot and killed,” she said.

His visibly distraught mother, Natasha Arendse, who tried to hold it together, joined the marchers. She said she was overwhelmed by the support from the community and because of her son’s murder, she is now left with two children.

“I am very emotional but this is something we have to do as the community,” Arendse expressed.

Chad celebrated his last birthday in May.

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