Community members affected by gang violence marched to Parliament, saying they could not celebrate Freedom Day while being held hostage by gangsters. Picture: Facebook
Cape Town – Emotional parents and those living in communities torn apart by gang violence marched to the gates of Parliament on Thursday, saying they could not celebrate Freedom Day while being held hostage by gangsters.

Thursday’s March Against Crime, initiated by the Manenberg Safety Forum, sought to shine the spotlight on crime in communities like Manenberg. 

Marchers complained that children were being killed in gang-ridden areas, women and girls were often victims of rape and brutally killed, and police officers were being killed in the line of duty.

Manenberg Safety Forum chairperson Roegshanda Pascoe said they “cannot celebrate Freedom Day because we are not free”.

“Our people are dying while they wait for medical assistance in our communities; that is not freedom. We are reaching out to the minister of police to say we are here to build a partnership with you,” Pascoe said.

The memorandum which was handed over “is a guideline to the minister of police to come and do right by the people of Cape Town”.

“Today we have hundreds of police protecting us but we never have that in our communities. We demand our right to be protected and to be safe in our communities,” Pascoe said.

Emotional parents also spoke to the large group that gathered outside Parliament in support of the march against crime.

Denver Pelton, father of murdered 18-year-old Dylan Pelton from Bonteheuwel, said he was still emotional over the loss of his son.

"He was only an 18-year-old boy who died for what? The gangsters are taking our children. (Community Safety MEC) Dan Plato just comes here for the week to give sympathy and after that he is gone and we hear nothing more of them."

Tony Ehrenreich, who also spoke at the march, urged community members to give information to police.

Cape Times