The community of crime-ravaged Nyanga took a tough stance on the scourge of smash-and-grabs, hijackings as well as the abuse of women and children by protesting at the notorious crime hotspot on the corner of Klipfontein and Borcherds Quarry roads, on Sunday December 10.
Dozens of residents, led by religious leaders, the Nyanga Community Police Forum (CPF), and police, sang and prayed while distributing safety awareness pamphlets to motorists and pedestrians.
They pleaded with motorists to be vigilant and not to display valuables such as bags and cellphones when driving passed the spot.
They also lit candles for victims of domestic violence, with Sunday marking the end of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.
Nyanga CPF chairperson, Martin Makasi, said women and children were a number one priority.
He said the majority of smash-and-grab victims were women who travelled with their children.
“We understand that women are mostly victims here. We are not saying men are not victims, but it is mostly women. Most times they are with children in their cars. We are now bringing awareness and urging drivers to be vigilant at all times. We need to put an end to the violent crimes,” said Mr Makasi.
He criticised some motorists for ignoring the campaign and called for more such interventions. “I am disappointed with how some motorists behave.
“While we are trying to alert them to the dangers of the area, there are those who showed ignorance. We have noticed that people like to display their valuables.
“There were cellphones and bags on the seats of their cars. I think we should do more of these campaigns,” he said.
He said the CPF would be engaging with the City of Cape Town to put up a warning sign on the notorious spot.
Police spokesperson, Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi, commended residents for working with the police to end crime. “We support their move. This is the way to go.
“Residents are aware that without them, we cannot defeat the scourge of crime. It is awareness campaigns like these that will keep us together. Big up to them,” she said. Captain Sitshitshi urged residents to always communicate with police and their structures and not to take the law into their own hands.
Resident Nokuthula Gojo said she was particularly concerned about the violation of women’s and children’s rights.
“Women are abused all the time. Their abuse have been constant and never-ending. We ought to do something and end the scourge. The crime that is happening here affects women and children. If a father is robbed or killed here, who gets affected the most, a mother and her children. That is why I left everything to come here. I am here to say ‘no’,” she said.