More than 500 residents marched through the streets of Gugulethu, denouncing gender-based violence while calling on police officers to tighten their grip on criminals.
The march, on Thursday October 24, was spearheaded by the Gugulethu Development Forum (GDF) in partnership with various stakeholders who supported the #GugulethuShutdown.
Traders, Gugulethu Mall and some local businesses closed their shops in support of the protest action.
The marchers gathered at Gugulethu mall as early as 6am before making their way to the police station to hand over their memorandum of grievances.
GDF chairperson, Mzwandile Panziso, said the high incidents of gender-based violence committed in the area forced them to take a firm stand against this senseless attacks on women and children.
He said the forum, that advocates for the betterment of Gugulethu, felt that it was important that they raise their voices about this matter.
Mr Panziso said crime and gangsterism were also becoming rife in the area and should not be tolerated.
Mr Panziso pleaded with police to implement a system which ensured that cases of gender-based violence were properly-and sensitively-handled and prioritised.
He also suggested that police set up a 24-hour helpline for victims of gender-based violence.
“We demand police to be more in schools, especially in the morning and afternoon. We demand an action plan to end crime in our communities.
“We want police officers to work hand in hand with our neighbourhood watch members. We want police officers to ensure that crime perpetrators are convicted for their actions,” he said.
President of Abathunywa Ministers Fraternity, Zamuxolo Mfihlo, said pastors and church leaders should not only preach from behind their pulpits, but play a more meaningful role in changing their communities.
Resident Siyabuelela Njoloza said he opted to be part of the march because good men needed to act immediately and show that not all men were “monsters”.
A representative of Sonke Gender Justice, Sikhangele Mabulu, said the police officers were obligated to protect South African citizens, but that the community should first stand up before pointing their fingers at police officers for not doing their job properly.
He called on the community not to protect criminals.