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Call for SAHRC investigations into the Muizenberg and Steenberg police stations

File photo of people walking past the Steenberg Police station. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

File photo of people walking past the Steenberg Police station. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 12, 2022

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Cape Town - Community activist Lucinda Evans has written to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the national secretariat of the police, asking them to urgently investigate the Steenberg and Muizenberg police stations.

Evans, who is the founder of the women’s support group Philisa Abafazi Bethu, said her request was in response to the failure of the two police stations to adequately protect and service the communities of the greater Lavender Hill, Hillview and Seawinds areas.

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She said after the killing of two children in the community, residents, parents and leaders wanted immediate interventions to be put in place to respond to the deadly gang violence that was claiming lives daily and further destabilising the community.

“Gang violence in our areas is out of control. We lost two 15-year-old scholars, who were shot and killed within two weeks. We want to see change, but not through imbizos – that will just be a waste of expenditure and our time.

“While we recognise that there have been interventions put in place like the mobile police camp, a lack of proper community consultation or planning on the part of SAPS resulted in that failing.”

Evans said while the communities were serviced by both the Steenberg and Muizenberg police stations, staff shortages and a shortfall in resources between the two stations were hampering their ability to provide proper services, resulting in gang-ridden communities.

“Our fundamental rights to safety have been violated over and over. As the Khoisan community, we have been ignored all our lives and we find ourselves living in a small-scale urban war with our children dying every day,” Evans said.

Community activist Ayesha Davids said: “The sad thing about our situation is that it's more than the two children. In the past two months, seven to eight children have been killed. I can name them all, it wasn't just Lameez and Jaden.”

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On Saturday, police recovered the body of 15-year-old Jaden Holland from an open field in Hillview.

Police spokesperson Ndakhe Gwala said: “On arrival, officers found the body of a young man lying on the field with a single gunshot wound in the back. Police have since registered a case of murder for investigation.”

Davids added: “Our councillors, social workers, the police, meant to stand for us, are failing us. We have even begun calling the police station the Holiday Inn; they don’t care about us.

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“It’s a heartsore, and despite our efforts to uplift our community, the lack of funding and resources sets us back. What happened to the interventions they have been speaking about? They took away the base camp, the AGU and metro police.”

The provincial representative of the National Khoi and San Council, Princess Chantal Revell, said: “I am part of this community and can testify to the poor service our community receives from our SAPS. It seems like all calls for help fall on deaf ears when it comes to our communities.”

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