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Cape Town - The Belhar community has decided to stand up against crime by marching through the area this Saturday.
The demonstration is a reaction to the shooting of third-year UWC accounting student Kamva Dasi, 22, and the gang shooting incident which left two 7-year-old school girls injured.
Dasi was shot and killed in a suspected robbery on April 29 in Belhar.
Community policing forum spokesperson Ismail Arnold said: “We have decided to organise a march with the recent shootings of our schoolchildren at Riebeeck Street Primary school.
“Dasi, from the Eastern Cape, together with six of his friends – also students – were on their way home from withdrawing money at an ATM when a blue or black VW Golf Mark1 pulled up next to them.
“Four males got out and proceeded to rob them at gunpoint. A scuffle broke out and Dasi was hit and died a few metres away from where he was shot, leaving his friends traumatised.
“It is believed three shots were fired during this attack, killing the UWC student.”
The CPF is calling everyone to report crime when they see it.
“We’d like the community to stand together against these crimes, and speak out if they have information.
“This is why the March is taking place,” he added. “Belhar CPF has done previous gender-based violence marches and events last year, however this will be an ongoing march to unite the community of Belhar.
“We cannot keep hiding the criminals that are keeping us hostage.”
Arnold said the importance of the demonstration was “to take back our streets from criminals and to make Belhar a safer and peaceful area”.
The march will start at Belhar police station, from Belhar Drive into Alabama Avenue, and the residents will then march around the area and back to the starting point.
“We want to walk the streets without fear for the next generation. The community can take part by showing their presence and support this Saturday, meeting at Belhar SAPS at 10am.
“We are all victims and prisoners in our homes and impacted negatively.”
Arnold said the community’s voice was needed and would be heard.
“Our stats show that on May 5, a male student was robbed of his phone at knife-point behind Erica Spar at 11.30am. The following day a female student was robbed of her phone at knife-point on her way to Erica Spar.
“On May 7, a male was robbed of his phone near Erica Spar at the field on the corner of Watsonia Road and Erica Drive at 5.30pm, and on Monday, a male student was robbed of his phone at knife-point on the corner of Heide and Watsonia roads at 1.30pm.
“Last quarter, we had 16 murder cases, 11 attempted murders, eight rapes, 13 sexual assaults, 49 cases of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, 67 cases of common assault, 52 robberies with aggravating circumstances, 31 common robberies and 83 counts of robbery, and that is unacceptable.
“In April, the neighbourhood watches reported nine student robberies and attempted robberies mostly in Erica township, Extensions 17 and eight where most of the student accommodations are situated. There are of course many more unreported incidents occurring too.
“Belhar CPF will engage with different stakeholders in the upcoming days to discuss the way forward. We would like to extend our condolences to the parents, family and friends of all the victims of violence.”