Concerned about the high levels of gang and drug activity in the area, the religious fraternity held a march which they called the “Jesus for Mitchell’s Plain prayer walk”, in Tafelsig, on Sunday November 12.
More than 20 churches from Mitchell’s Plain and Cape Town marched from Kapteinsklip station, through Kilimanjaro Street, Tafelsig, where they finished with an outdoor service.
The event was organised by the Church of God SA, whose Pastor Sherwon Cook said gang violence and crime in Mitchell’s Plain was “appalling” and that churches needed to add their voice against crime. “We want to give people hope. With us we have former drug addicts, some who are from Victory Outreach who can testify how their lives have changed. As churches we hope to do this more often, we want Tafelsig to change for the better,” he said.
Pastor Kyle Appollis, from the Kingdom Mandate Church in Tafelsig, said it was important for churches to come together and stand up against crime.
“Enough is enough, we need to come together as one and take action. And we will use prayer as a weapon. As a church, our vision is to save as much souls as possible. Residents and parishioners have had enough of crime, and churches now too have to intervene,” he said.
Mark Schrikker, from Kingsway Revival Ministries in Steenberg, said it was time for churches to come out of their the buildings and hit the streets. He said gang violence and drug usage were increasing and he wanted to encourage residents to be proactive.
Also at the event were representatives of Mitchell’s Plain police station, among them acting station commander for Mitchell’s Plain police station, Colonel Jan Alexander. He said crime in Tafelsig was of huge concern for the police and highlighted that gang violence and drugs were more prevalent in Tafelsig.
“We are here to ensure safety and security for the marchers today. We also support them in the initiative in fighting crime in Mitchell’s Plain. Community mobilisation is important and we encourage residents and organisations to do so. The time is now to act and take action, we cannot turn a blind eye as many lives are at stake,” he said.
Colonel Alexander said they were concentrating on the strongholds in the community.
“We are aware of the gangsters and drug dens. We have a plan specifically to target the gangsters. This includes searching of premises, which includes drug outlets and premises.
“As the police we can target these places, but we still need the support of the community, they need to report and get involved by joining safety structures and help fight crime,” he said.