CSC Solidarity Visit to Manenberg

Manenberg Street Sign
Today the Campaign for Safe Communities and other partner organisations will be making a solidarity visit to Manenberg to speak to community members about their experience with gang violence and to show our support.

Over 20 people have been killed over the last few weeks owing to gang violence. 14 Schools had to be closed in August after teachers, fearing for their safety as well as the safety of their learners, requested support from the government and threatened to walk out en masse.

Recognising that this is a crisis, the Western Cape government has since shifted R6 million from the education budget towards the deployment of Metro police in Manenberg. This has reduced the levels of gun violence on the streets, but the climate of tension and fear remains.

Community members, particularly the youth, have been deeply affected by the loss of family members, witnessing extreme acts of violence, and being directly victims of violence themselves. The youth need to be given special consideration. Trauma caused by exposure to violence makes it impossible for many of the youth to function effectively at school, and school closure means that they are significantly behind in the curriculum. Many youth also risk being caught in the crossfire while walking to and from school. Unfortunately, many of the youth also end up being perpetrators of violence, targeted for recruitment by the gangs many youths feel that joining a gang is the only way to ensure their safety.

Gangsterism is now spilling over from Manenberg to other areas such as Hanover Park, Mitchells Plain and even Khayelitsha. We must not turn our back on the Manenberg community when their constitutional rights to life, safety and education are being threatened daily.

Everyone, whether they live in Manenberg or not, has a responsibility to oppose this violence and support the people of Manenberg in the building of a safe community.

CSC written submission on the Green Paper on Policing

The Campaign for Safe Communities (CSC) has made a written submission to the Civilian Secretariat of Police on the Green Paper on Policing. The Green Paper was released on 18 June and the deadline for submissions was originally set for 7 July.

The CSC, supported by our partner organisations, wrote to the Civilian Secretariat requesting that the deadline be extended to 31 August. The Secretariat responded by extending the deadline to 31 July.

In all the meetings and workshops held with partner organisations and community members, the general consensus was that the timeframe given was not sufficient in order to make serious and meaningful submissions. Furthermore, the public was not given the opportunity to participate in the initial drafting of the Green Paper.

Over the last decade, frequent revelations regarding police brutality and misconduct have eroded the public’s trust in the service. According to a SAPS internal audit released earlier this week, many police officers remain on active duty despite being convicted of criminal offences. Serious transformation needs to happen within the police service in order to rebuild people’s trust. The Green Paper could have provided an opportunity to start the process of reengaging the public and rebuilding the public’s confidence in the service. Unfortunately, that opportunity was squandered by the lack of public participation.

The CSC’s submission calls for the creation of a police service that is:

  • Democratic, accountable and effective under a professional and ethical command,
  • Performs its constitutional obligations diligently and without delay in terms of section 237 of the Constitution,
  • Does not tolerate corruption, and
  • Safeguards the vulnerable.

To read the CSC’s submission on the Green Paper on Policing, please follow the link:

CSC Submission on the Green Paper on Policing 31 July 2013