Remembering loved ones lost to violence

Residents took part in the eighth annual remembrance walk.

Family and friends of those lost to violence and crime took to the streets for the eighth annual remembrance walk from AZ Berman Drive to Spine Road on Saturday December 2.

The walk was hosted by community activist and Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA) court coordinator Linda Jones together with Aspire Community Development, MURA and all safety structures.

At the end of the walk they made their way to Cedar High School hall where members of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as well as the senior public prosecutor at Mitchell’s Plain Court, Nandy Moodley and prosecutor Darren Johnson spoke.

This year they focused mainly on gender-based violence and domestic violence while still commemorating all those who had lost their lives, said Ms Jones.

“This walk is to show our communities how much pain is caused by our own children who grew up in our areas but have resorted to gangsterism. My life was changed in 2015 when I was approached by a mother who lost her son innocently,” she said.

“I feel the hurt of both parents. One has to face the harsh reality that we do live in a society where there are parents who will still harass victims and that’s sad. My greatest desire is to reach our young men, part of this issue, and let them realise that their actions have brought pain. The lives of a whole family are changed. Sometimes justice is not only delayed but also denied,” she said.

Father Cornelius Basson who lost his son, Chad Basson, five years ago in a shooting at a 21st birthday party, said it was always special to be part of the event and honour those who have passed.

“Grief is ongoing but they made a great impact on our lives. It is always special to be a part of this. This is also to bring awareness that there is help and support for those experiencing the same issue,” he said.

“On an annual basis we meet together like one big family, we cry together and we remember the precious gifts that were bestowed upon us,” he said.

Executive member of MURA, Alex Lawrance, said it’s very sad that so many mothers came out on the walk.

“What’s tragic is all the killings took place in Mitchell’s Plain. Very young people had their lives cut short. There is something wrong with society. It is sad that young people in their youth are cut down because of gangsters shooting wildly doing drive-by shootings,” he said.

“The pain of the parents, they want closure and that takes time. Parents being in court is also a traumatic experience. This still affects many people. One person killed affects many people. The killing doesn’t stop,” said Mr Lawrence.

For more information contact Ms Jones on 083 874 2044.