Am I next? Will I make it home tonight? These are some of the questions marchers chanted as they made their way along Merrydale Avenue, adding their voices to the call for an end to gun and gang violence.
They marched in the names of those who had died – Chad Arendse, Chad Basson, Jamie Jacobs, and many others.
Both Chad Arendse and Chad Basson had attended Portland High School, and had been at 21st birthday parties when they were shot (“Drum major shot dead”, Plainsman, June 19; and “Teen dies protecting friends”, Plainsman, August 1, 2018).
Mitchell’s Plain SAPS spokesperson, captain Ian Williams said Chad Basson, 19, was shot in Marigold Street, Lentegeur on Saturday July 28 last year. Police found Chad at the front door of the house. He had been shot in his head multiple times and was declared dead on the scene by paramedics. Police found nine 9mm cartridges and one projectile on the scene. The gunmen are believed to have been gang members who fled the scene in a white VW Golf with an unknown registration number. A suspect was arrested and the case is being investigated.
Chad Arendse, 19, was shot on Youth Day, Saturday June 16, at 12.40pm. He had also been hit in the head and police found 14 cartridges at the scene of the shooting in Beaufort Street, Rocklands. The case will resume on Monday January 27, next year.
Jamie Jacobs, 19, was shot in the face multiple times, at 7.50am, on Friday September 14, last year. He was found lying on the corner of Eisleben and Selena roads, Woodlands where police found eight cartridges. His family said he was not a gang member. Investigations are ongoing.
Camorin Du Plessis, 15, who did not want to say where he lives, fearing for his safety, arranged the march on Saturday November 9 to launch a campaign called #capelivesmatter.
“Growing up in Mitchell’s Plain was not as pleasant for me as I have seen most of my friends shot dead, killed and watched their parents deal with it. My generation cannot be a victim to this type of violence,” he said.
They want to bring attention to these cases and would like the government to respond to them. “People my age should not die in Mitchell’s Plain,” said Camorin.
The mother of Chad Arendse, Natasha Arendse, said this is still a sore point for her. “The march was a great success and I am very proud of Camorin for doing this for our children. We all want justice in the end,” she said.
Cornelius Basson, the father of Chad Basson said it was heartwarming to attend the march on Saturday. They do not know Camorin but they are grateful for the gesture, he said.
“This shows me that we are not sitting back and allowing things to happen but that we are standing up and doing something. We have put pressure on police on Chad’s case and it’s still a slow process,” he said.
Mr Basson would like the witnesses to come forward but they are afraid to speak out, he said. As a family they are grateful for the help and support they have received throughout their sons death, he said.