Anti Wonga, Crime and Rape Protest in KwaMashu on 21 March
20 March 2013
Anti Wonga, Crime and Rape Protest in KwaMashu on 21 March 2013
As tomorrow is Human Rights Day the Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League will be holding a protest on some of the issues that are concerning the youth.
Our protest will raise awareness and concern about the use of the drug called wonga that many of the young people had been involved into. This drug is a killer to our young people who are our treasure. We as the movement regard our young lions to be the future of our country. The most difficult thing is that once people crave this drug they committee crime like stealing things and sell them to get this drug. Once they consume this drug some people also commit other crimes like rape.
Young people turn to drugs like wonga because they have no hope for their future. They are trying to dull their pain and their fear for their future. The government must provide more rehab centres as the waiting list for rehab is too long. The police must also arrest the sellers of wonga. But we also need to build a society where young people are respected, given good education, access to good sporting and cultural facilities and can looking forward to decent work and a life in which they can become respected members of the community. When young people find that they are dumped in transit camps how they trust that the society care for them? In fact it is clear that many of us are seen as a problem to be kept out rather than a treasure to be treasured.
The whole country is talking about the crisis of rape. Our movement has raised this issue since it was first formed in 2005. We have constantly said that poor women are at high risk of rape because shacks are easy to break in to, we don’t have toilets, our places are dark, we don’t have safe transport and some police officers consider all poor people as criminals.
KwaZulu-Natal has a highest number of cases of elderly women who are being raped. Recently in Umlazi a child was raped and killed and the body was found in the bush inside the School. It is clear that the people who do this are people who are known by the community. The protest will raise the concern that it is our human right to live in a safe society. We will state clearly that all people have the right to be safe wherever they are, whatever the time is and whatever they are wearing. After careful discussions we have concluded that the struggle for equality is not just between rich and poor – it is also within the community and the home.
The march will also be raising concerns that the police are not doing enough to protect the society as they suppose to be doing. We do not want a police force that treats all poor people as criminal. We do not want a police force that represses our struggles. We want a police force that is there to make sure that all people are safe all of the time and everywhere.
The demands of this march will be the following:
• We demand the closure of the scrap yard
at Old J section in KwaMashu, where the drug addicts sell
things that they have stolen.
• We demand that the police arrest people who are selling drugs such as wonga in our community.
• We demand access to caring rehab for all drug addicts in our community.
• We also need the laws that are supposed to protect us against crime and rape in our society to be taken seriously and for all people’s lives and dignity to count the same to the police, courts and media.
• We demand that the police do their job as they are supposed to and do not work with drug dealers.
• We need police to monitor sheebeen s in our community as they are the hub of crime.
• We more security in our schools so that what has happen in Umlazi should not happen again.
• We need a guaranteed income for all young people and a serious programme to create decent work for young people
• We need the education crisis to be seriously attended to
• We need decent sporting and cultural facilities for all young people
The march is planned for Thursday 21 March 2013. The march will begin from Siyanda Mazulu Primary School to emagameni tuckshop, U-CC Church, Chama station, to main road to Malandela up to outside TV Park at KwaMashu Station. We also wish to note that as always until now we have still not got the permit for the march although we followed all the rules and gave our notification in good time. And we also wish to note that the ward councillor of ward 41 is trying to hijack our march and has just announced his own march at the same time, on the same route and on the same issues.
We wish to make it very clear that:
• We will not accept this
attempt to deny us our basic democratic rights.
• The march will be going ahead.
• If necessary we will take legal action to secure our right to march and if necessary we will march in defiance of any unlawful bans on our right to protest.
• We also wish to note that the Station Commander of Kwashu SAPS E section has acknowledged receiving our Memorandum and that we have had good co-operation from her office.
For more information and updates please visit www.abahlali.org