Cape Town - Bonteheuwel residents responded to the ongoing taxi violence with a mass prayer service.
Bontheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said even though his area was not affected by looting and vandalism, he decided to gather around his community members so they can pray for peace in all affected areas.
“To keep Bontheuwel safe this whole time I have been on the ground patrolling with the officers and that gave the residents a huge sense of security and calm.
“The fact that we managed to maintain the peace and calmness in our area during the strike and having seen the opposite in other areas, it became critical that as the community we want to display our thankfulness by praying for the rest of Cape Town.
“We are praying for all the kids, cops and most importantly we pray for the end of the strike and those families of the officers and people that have died during this period.”
McKenzie said the violence that came with the strike could have been less effective if other leaders made an effort to come out or were seen to be coming out during this time.
“Leaders should have been on the front line defending their communities. They should have communicated with the broader community members on exactly what was happening, when it was happening and why it was happening. When the strike resumed, people were not given time to make alternative arrangements.”
Bonteheuwel community member Charmaine Pascoe said the initiative taken by Bontheuwel community members, above all, comes from a place of faith.
“God must always pave the way first before everything else can resume or be put into order. This prayer won’t only make things come right for communities but it also helps us save our land from acts or crime.
“This strike has taken away so much from lots of people; some lost their cars, houses, businesses and, above all, some lost their lives.”