Community calls for indaba

The Beacon Valley sub-forum team from left are Captain Trevor Katzen, chairperson for Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum, Abie Isaacs, chairperson for Beacon Valley CPF sub-forum, Adam van Wyk, assistant chairperson Veronica Cloete, secretary Thomas Porthen and assistant secretary, Lynn Groenewald.

Comments made at a recent Mitchell’s Plain Community Police (CPF) Beacon Valley sub-forum meeting highlighted the community’s frustration with – and lack of understanding about – the workings of the criminal justice system.

So, the sub-forum has decided to write to the relevant authorities, inviting them to host an indaba in the community where they can outline what is being done to address crime and how their departments operate.

For a long time, said resident Carol Mentor, “people in our community have been ill-informed on how the justice system works and how people can access it”.

In addition to this, Beacon Valley resident and walking bus volunteer, Tina McDonald, said she had first-hand experience of how residents helped hide drugs or protect those involved in crime, and how this stood in the way of justice being served.

Ms McDonald called on the community to speak out against drug use, murder and injustice.

“We are sick and tired of being crime-fighters yet some of us are involved in the life of crime. How can crime be stopped if this carries on?

“In this time, crime should have stopped but it’s as high as I’ve ever seen it.

“Even though the army is here, something still needs to be done about crime in our area,” she said.

CPF secretary Lynn Phillips said it starts at home.

“We cannot hide behind crime fighting, we need to call out what is wrong,” she noted.

Supporting the motion to host an indaba, she said: “As parents we need to know what is happening. We need to be able to speak to the authorities, we need to know what is happening.”

Ms Mentor recalled previous indabas at which representatives of the Justice Department had engaged with the community.

“We need this in place again so that we can keep people informed,” she said.