Silent protest against violence and gangsterism

Oval North High School and Alpine Primary pupils, parents and teachers at the silent protest for the late Riedewaan Boltman.
Oval North High School and Alpine Primary pupils, parents and teachers at the silent protest for the late Riedewaan Boltman.

Oval North High School in Beacon Valley held a silent protest against violence and gangsterism in honour of the late Riedewaan Boltman, who was shot last week (“Justice sought for murdered teen”, Plainsman, May 26).

Oval North High School pupils at the silent protest on Thursday May 27.

Pupils from Alpine Primary School, the primary school Riedewaan attended, were also at the protest.

On Thursday May 27 the schools, teachers, pupils, friends and family gathered outside of their respective schools in a silent protest for Riedewaan and all the other victims of violence and gangsterism.

“The protest spoke volumes. Innocent pupils are gunned down daily. Gang violence is a huge issue in this community,” said Riedewaan’s mechanical technology teacher, Athina Dennis.

Ms Dennis said the one thing that stood out for her was his eagerness to learn. “He said to me ’Miss, I really want to be a boilermaker; I can’t wait to get to that part of the work’.

“It is sad to see how his life was just taken from him,” she said.

Theresa Jacobs, also a teacher at Oval North High School, said when they got the news of Riedewaan’s fatal shooting on Sunday evening May 23, they were shocked.

She said it never gets easier when one of their pupils passes on.

“When you are a mother you always feel for the children and their families. What would I have done if it was my child, you know? I feel for the parents and the community who have lost a young life – he was full of potential,” said Ms Jacobs.

She said they needed to do this to show that they are not okay with what is happening in the community they serve.

“We are hoping to make an impact on all those lives lost through gang violence, and take a stand for the ones present. Choose life and make better decisions as a young person.

“He (Riedewaan) was one of the unfortunate young lives who was robbed of using his full potential in life,” Ms Jacobs said.