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Officials remain silent as our children are massacred

Two young people were shot dead and three critically injured in a shooting on Cadillac Street in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain, last week. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane African News (ANA)

Two young people were shot dead and three critically injured in a shooting on Cadillac Street in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain, last week. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane African News (ANA)

Published Mar 1, 2021

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To: The Presidency of South Africa (Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa)

The minister of the SAPS, General Bheki Cele

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The Western Cape premier, Alan Winde

The mayor of the City of Cape Town, Daniel Plato

The councillor of Ward 79, Solomon Philander

Re: The Crises of Beacon Valley

Dear Office Bearers and Elected Officials

I write this open letter with regard to the massacre of our children by unknown gunmen in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain on the evening of February 25.

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According to community members, gang members intentionally open fired on six, yes that is correct, six teenagers in what the community can only conclude as a rival gang showing they can shoot in the area. Unfortunately, two teenagers died.

The following is what shocked the community to its core.

The arrival of SAPS members on the scene provided no comfort, as soon afterwards they left the scene with the bodies lying in the street. Only hours later were the bodies picked up by coroners.

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The handling of the chain of evidence was negligent at best. It was the community who had to collect the bullet casings and clean the blood off their streets.

The teenagers who were murdered in cold blood were Tamir Mitchell, 13, and Morgan Munnik, 18. SAPS members did not make the effort to inform the affected families of the merciless killing or shooting of their children. They were visited by social workers the next day.

I must bring your attention to further shootings in the area in the following 48 hours. There was little to no recourse from the SAPS, law enforcement or the metro police after a 14-year-old girl was shot and killed in Lotus River as well as four other individuals today in the Mitchells Plain area.

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The show of force in the area by police the following day means nothing as the shooting and murders continued. Where did this vast number of resources come from when the argument by you, the elected officials, bemoan the lack of resources to effectively carry out your duties?

A media statement by the Jacob Zuma Foundation condemns the killing of our children. However, not a single word from the Presidency, the government, local government or even the ward councillor who has not stepped foot in the area where the massacre occurred. We are disgusted by the behaviour of councillor Solomon Philander as the elected official. We are disgusted by the fact the minister of police makes himself available during alcohol and beach bans. We are disgusted by the failed promises of the provincial government. We are disgusted that a former president can pen a media statement condemning the killings but not a single word from the sitting president who promised us change.

Why must children and innocence be massacred and murdered before the police arrive on the scene? Why are there little or no resources allocated to the communities that are facing a crime and gangsterism pandemic? Why must we beg for help? Why must we take to the streets in protest for the right to live as human beings?

I have no doubt that the response from any of the spheres of the government I have mentioned here will respond or take effective action, but I will pen this open letter so that the community can bear witness and conclude what they have done for years. The community in the Cape Flats, townships and alike are considered as nothing more than people who make a mark on a ballot come election time.

I, therefore, conclude this letter by pleading on my hands and knees, knowing it will not make a difference. I have penned this open letter to, first, hold you, the elected officials, to account and, second, so the community can bare witness that a cry for help was put to you with little or no results.

I ask that my political affiliation will have no bearing if one of your secretaries find the time to read this as a I, as an individual, witnessed the cries, roars and sadness by families who will never see justice or hope from the elected officials who sit in the comfort and safety of their homes while our children fall victim to crime, drugs, gangsterism and murder.

Last, I ask that officials, should they somehow make the effort, not use this as a press stunt by arriving in our communities in a motorcade. We do not seek their presence but rather that they carry out their duties as they are elected and mandated to do by the Constitution of South Africa.

Jay Jay Idel

Cape Coloured Congress Youth League Member

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