SILENT BUT RELEVANT: The Silent Peace and Prayer Walk, organised by various religious groups, took place yesterday from St George’s Cathedral to the Castle of Good Hope. Picture: Laille Jack/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Residents across Cape Town have begun silent protests over the continued gang violence and shootings which have plagued their communities, hoping authorities would hear their plea.

Following similar protests in Kensington, residents in Bonteheuwel took to the streets with placards on Thursday morning and blocked the main road, Jakkalsvlei Drive.

Nadia Mayman de Grass said the violence had reached unprecedented levels.

“The Bonteheuwel Muslim Society is in full support with the lockdown of Bonteheuwel, which means that the authorities are not doing enough about crime and violence in our province, and our area in particular,” said De Grass.

In the CBD, religious leaders assembled on the steps of St George’s Cathedral, calling for an end to the ongoing violence in the country.

The Western Cape Christian Ministers Association, Cape Town Interfaith Initiative and the Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum also offered their support to the protest.

“We are deeply concerned on the current state of our nation. We decided to jointly raise our voices as the custodians of the people and the committees we represent,” Bishop Templeton Mbekwa said.

Leaders from various religions met two weeks ago at the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) offices to discuss their concerns about the lawlessness in the City.

On Wednesday, after they marched to the Castle of Good Hope, they released doves and joined in a silent prayer.

“We want the people to know that the beast has awoken and we will no longer be silent,” said Mbekwa, in response to criticism the last few years that religious leaders remained silent on the issue of crime and violence.

Cape Town Interfaith Initiative chairperson Berry Behr said: “We will be having a mass march in September to mark World Peace Day. We will then be handing over a memorandum to the government with a list of demands.”

World Peace Day will take place on September 21. “What is nice about this is that it will be a national march”.

MJC deputy president Moulana Abdul Khaliq Allie said: “We are here today because our people are no longer safe. We are here to raise our voices and stand together and tell our government that they must protect our people.”


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Cape Argus