Cape Town - While thousands of parents took their children to their first day of school on Wednesday, Hanover Park held a march against the gang shootings that have shaken the area.
The peaceful protest idea came after a learner was shot on Tuesday as he went to school.
Community leader Mansoer Arendse said gangsters always shoot when the children go to school.
“On Tuesday, a boy was shot on the way to school. We are here to demand police visibility every morning and afternoon.
“It is unfair that our children have to duck and dive when they are going to school and that was the main reason we thought of the demonstration. The idea was to go to the schools, police and metro police and ask them to come up with something because we can’t live in fear.
“We wanted to take the children out of school so we could keep them safe at home.”
Arendse added that they are going to speak to the commander and find out what they are going to do about the shootings near schools.
“If they can’t do anything then we are going to have to do something about the safety of our children.
“This is a very dire situation here in Hanover Park, since forever, and we have no help from the government from all spheres. Everybody is failing us. Our kids are at risk while going to school and we are not going to accept this as our norm.
“They always say we must abide by the law, but for us to get killed one by one every day we have to fight the fight the gangsters are bringing to us.
“On Monday there was a shooting while Grade R and Grade 1 learners were going to orientation. And no one is doing anything.”
Blomvlei neighbourhood watch member Rashida Davids said there should be diversion activities for gangsters.
“We are getting older and the gangsters are recruiting younger boys, from the ages of 12.
“We need to not only protect the children, but also prevent them from joining gangsters. We can’t remove them from that life and then have them loaf around. There have to be activities that will keep them busy so they forget about the life of violence.
“This was an awareness and to show that we are tired of doing this, picketing or marching. People are tired of doing this and then nothing positive happens, and I think that could be the reason we were a handful of people.”
Davids said government departments should work together to end the violence in Hanover Park.
“Social Development, Education and others can help with the socio-economic challenges that we face in Hanover Park.
“We are tired of seeing our children being killed like they don’t matter.”
The residents tried to get into Blomvlei Primary but the staff were busy with registrations.
Arendse said they will write a letter to all the schools in the area and ask about their safety plans.