The Mitchell’s Plain Crisis Forum (MPCF) held its first thanksgiving service at the Tafelsig civic centre on Saturday June 23.
The forum was launched after the murder of 11-year-old Stacha Arendse last year.
“She is the reason behind MPCF,” said spokesman Faizel Brown.
“We would like to give thanks to all who have helped and assisted us, also to bring closure to Stacha’s passing. Our organisation focuses on gender-based violence against women and children.”
Randy Tango was sentenced to three life terms for killing Stacha.
Mr Brown said different communities they have worked with came to support them from Bishop Lavis, Elsies River, Heideveld and Hanover Park.
“We see ourselves as a family, people that have never known each other are now a family. We build our relationship with many communities. We are excited for what the future holds for us,” said Mr Brown.
Charlotte Williams, ACDP proportional representation councillor, said too many stories from Mitchell’s Plain were negative and that needs to be changed.
“Even when tragedy strikes us, we are there to stand together, making this a better place for our children and our community.”
Washiela Harris, DA proportional representation councillor for Sub-council 12, said gangsters should not be role models for children.
“We should break that chain over our children. It is nice to see Mitchell’s Plain coming together to celebrate the work of the MPCF.”
Henry Arends, the chairperson of MPCF, said after the murder of Stacha, people from different organisations came together to look deeper into the gender-based violence being faced in communities.
“Our organisation is very proud that we can acknowledge the people for their hard work that they have done, as well as the SAPS who have assisted us. “We appreciate what they are doing for us and helping us with women and children especially the problems they face in their communities. One of our visions is to work with many other religious organisations and NGOs, to make our community safe for women and especially children. We would like to establish more crisis forums in the Western Cape. Going forward we would like to create more awareness at schools and holiday programmes in communities as well,” said Mr Arends.
He said people must also respect the authorities.
“As as an organisation, we know that it might be frustrating, but we need peace and we need to allow peace to settle in. However, we need to follow all protocol expected from the community as we cannot take the law into our own hands in any way. We strongly urge the community to adhere to authority as they are here to help you,” said Mr Arends.
The MPCF offices are at the Thusong Centre in Tafelsig. You can contact the Mr Arends at 084 732 8917 or the vice-chairperson Achmat Isaacs at 082 830 9781. They will be able to connect you to the relevant people to mobilise a response team to help you with your situation, be it a missing child or a rape victim.