Gun shot wound won’t deter crime fighter

A Mitchell’s Plain community police forum (CPF) executive member, who was shot behind the ear last week, says she will continue to fight the scourge of gangsterism and drugs.

“I can’t give up. If I don’t do it then who will,” said Sakienah Daniels, 50, a member of the CPF’s child rapid response unit and the CPF member responsible for the needs of women and children.

She was at her Tafelsig home on Monday January 28 when she heard gunfire and community members came to ask for help.

Armed with a radio, Ms Daniels was determined to get children to safety but was herself shot in Vlakkenberg Street.

She narrowly escaped death when the bullet hit her behind her left ear where it became lodged.

She was taken to the Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre and then to Groote Schuur Hospital.

Ms Daniels, who has three grandchildren and eight children, was discharged hours later and was recuperating at home when the Plainsman spoke to her on Thursday January 31.

She volunteers at Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court, where she opposes bail.

Ms Daniels said the shooting started in December and that there was a gang war going on about turf.

“No one was injured but there would be gangsters driving through the streets, who open fire,” she said.

She said gangsterism was the norm in Tafelsig and that the community was not educated to teach their children better.

On the day of her shooting, she had walked the streets to warn children and parents about the dangers standing on the corners or at the shops and of possible gang violence.

“I would like the community to join safety structures. We patrol at night and we want to take back our streets,” she said.

“If anything, this shooting has made me stronger. I won’t give up. I will still be there for my community,” she said.

Ms Daniels thanked the CPF, crime fighters, family and friends for their support.

Her daughter, Aisha Maree, told the Plainsman a taxi had to take Ms Daniels to the hospital because Tafelsig was a red zone, an area where Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff could only go under a police escort.

“We were worried about my mother dying but we know she is doing good. This is her passion,” she said.

Ms Maree said the community should take responsibility for its safety, to know where their kids are and to report crime.

The two men arrested in connection with the shooting are due to appear in Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Friday February 8, following an identity parade. They were arrested shortly after the shooting, when the anti-gang unit was called in, and are facing charges of attempted murder.

The anti-gang unit was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Police Minister Bheki Cele in November, in an effort to fight the scourge of gangsterism.

It is made up of members of specialised units with the objective to “dislodge and terminally weaken the capacity of the gangs”, and to disorganise and disable the criminal economy linked to gangsterism, including drug and firearm supply lines.