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Gauteng premier David Makhura on Monday urged the residents of Reiger Park on the East Rand not to marginalise themselves.

"Do not allow yourselves to be marginalised, South Africa is your country too," Makhura told residents during a visit to the area.

"Don't allow anyone to marginalise you from this government. See yourself as a South African and not a coloured South African."

(Though in this eNCA article premier Makhura follows on with some excellent points below, his statement that Coloureds should not see themselves as Coloured is completely misguided due to the fact that the promises he makes on behalf of the ruling party can only be kept of there are drastic policy changes which result in legislative changes - Bruinou.com Editor)

"The coloured community felt they were not white enough during apartheid and now under the current government must not feel that they are not black enough. This community will never be marginalised. We promised Taegrin Morris (the four-year old boy killed during a botched hijacking in the township) that this community must be on the same level as others," he said.

This weekend police said they found the body of a boy at a mine dump in the area. They are conducting tests to establish whether it is of the child Cuburne Lavone van Wyk who went missing on Aug 6.

Makhura also spoke to residents about poverty and unemployment. He said these knew no colour and it was up to the community to stick together to bring an end to both.

People needed to be empowered and the only way to do that was to revive the township's economy.

Makhura said the area had an economy of R2-billion but the money was not circulating in the township. "We must ask ourselves where the money is going. We are taking money out of the township and taking it to town."

Township residents should organise themselves and supply government with some of the services it required for daily operations.

He gave an example of feeding schemes at schools and said the food should be bought from locals within the vicinity of the schools.

Economic development MEC Lebogang Maile echoed these sentiments and said government had to support small, micro to medium enterprises in the townships to ensure job creation.

Most townships in the country had the capacity to produce and manufacture goods that could inject cash-flow into the area.

"We must also look at creating a market in neighbouring townships, provinces, and Africa for SMMEs to thrive," Maile said.

Click here to view the original eNCA article.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has acknowledged that government has neglected coloured townships while a lot has been done for African informal settlements.

Makhura addressed scores of mourners at the Reiger Park Stadium during Taegrin Morris's funeral at the weekend.

The four-year-old was dragged behind his parents' stolen vehicle for several kilometres last week as the gunmen sped off with him still strapped in with a seat belt.

He died a short while later and his body was later discovered in Boksburg next to the abandoned vehicle.

Taegrin has been hailed as a 'prince of peace’ with the community saying that his death has marked a turning point for the Reiger Park area which is riddled with drugs and gangsterism.

Makhura said the four-year-old's death must mark the end of the marginalisation of people oppressed under apartheid.

"Many in the coloured townships feel that they aren't part of the new South Africa and feel that they aren't black enough. Under apartheid, they felt they weren't white enough."

He said municipalities and provincial governments must give more attention to communities like Reiger Park and ensure they don't feel left out while the rest of the country develops.

Police are offering a R100 000 reward to anyone with information on the hijackers who killed Taegrin.

Phike family attends funeral

The family of a Bronkhorstspruit boy who survived a dramatic hijacking more than a week ago say they share the pain of Taegrin's family.

Mongezi Phike's family attended Morris's funeral in Reiger Park at the weekend to offer their condolences.

Phike was taken hostage for six days earlier this month after hijackers assaulted his father, stole their vehicle, and disappeared with the young boy still buckled up in the back seat.

His mother, Lizzie said she identified with the pain felt by the Morris family although her son's hijacking drama turned out differently.

"I am here because I just wanted to come and comfort the Morris family. I feel bad because they were not as lucky as I was."

Morris's mother, Chantal, thanked the Phike family for their support and wished Mongezi's father Aaron a speedy recovery.

Click here to view the original iafrica.com article.

Cape Town - “Brown Consciousness” is sweeping through the Western Cape and Gauteng with coloured leaders focusing on promoting unity and inner pride.

Flamboyant Cape politician Peter Marais, who has been at the forefront of pushing the coloured agenda, recently started a movement called the Brown Conscious Bond, which is setting up branches in both provinces.

Marais says the Brown Conscious Bond is an offshoot of the Bruin Bemagtigings Beweging (Brown Empowerment Movement) of which he is deputy president.

“I am president of the Brown Conscious Bond, which has political objectives; the brown empowerment movement has socio-economic objectives,” Marais said.

He had served in the apartheid-era House of Representatives in the PW Botha-established Tricameral Parliament, as a DA mayor of Cape Town and New National Party (NNP) premier of the Western Cape, and believed that “whereas black consciousness is a state of mind, brown consciousness is a state of being”.

Marais said the movement included whites and blacks and did not exclude ethnic groups.
“It includes rather than excludes everyone who sees themselves as part of the bigger human race and not ethnic minorities. We all are ultimately related by design.”

According to Marais, there was nothing racist about starting a brown consciousness movement, as the term coloured by its very nature meant integration.
“We are a civil rights movement which advocates brown consciousness as a higher form of human consciousness believing original man was neither white nor black but brown…

“We believe white is in fact light brown and black is merely darker brown,” Marais said.
“The Khoi and the San were the First Nations in Africa and need to be affirmed above everyone else.”

Brown consciousness rejected the notion of a superior or inferior race or culture and considered all races and cultures to be of equal value.
“The value and importance of certain cultures among poor communities… should be considered as equal to cultures observed and practised in more affluent societies if it reflects the will of the people.”

He said the rejection of a practice or culture by one cultural community did not diminish its value or its importance to those practising it.
“It should therefore be respected that the brown man should not walk in the shadow of either white or black but assert and prepare him to reclaim his land in South Africa as its First Nation.”

While the pursuit of a “super unified coloured” party had long been on the cards across the province, various leaders had never been able to see eye to eye on such a formation.
And, with the performance of smaller political parties in previous elections hardly making a dent in the support for bigger and more established parties, those who had tried to unite civil, political and social movements had had little luck.

Marais said he never supported the formation of a super coloured party but fought for unity among the different factions in the coloured community so as to become a political force in the Western and Northern Cape provinces.

Among the smaller parties that have survived local politics is the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa, which performed poorly in its first national and provincial elections in May.

President Jeffrey Donson said while he was part of talks about a super coloured party, it had never worked because there was always a fight about leadership.

“It’s all about power and who will have that power. In the end the plight of the people is forgotten again,” Donson said.

 

DA leader Helen Zille said her party was once small but became the official opposition in 1999.
“So of course there is room for a well-run party to grow and win an increasing share of the vote. The DA is the only party that has grown in every national election since 1994.”

Zille said in her view there was no viable space for ethnic parties.
“Our challenge is to build a nation where everyone can choose their own identity and live it and choose a political party on principles, policies and values, rather than racial nationalism,” she said.

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Click here to view the original Cape Argus article.

Monday, 16 June 2014 00:28

They so easily say Get Over It

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"Get Over It." Even I use those words when it comes to those little everyday hassles like wasting your time in a queue, or having to pay R1 more than you've expected for something because you're not buying it at your regular store.
When my dog died in the fire that destroyed my house, I eventually got over it and that last relationship of mine that didn't work out... yeah I got over that too.

"Get Over It" can also be one of the most hurtful phrases one could hear.
For many people in South Africa, Apartheid is one of those things that hurts even more every time someone says Get Over It.
I would think that after more than 300 years of oppression and seeing that it will still take a long time to eradicate the effects of Apartheid, today might just be a tad bit too soon to ask people to simply forget and get over it.

I was not planning to write anything about or specifically for Youth Day but I've just read an article about how four people, who were not directly caught up in the actual happenings on the day of 16 June 1976, were influenced by it. They were all teens at the time and they tell of how they dealt with the news of the uprising, the police brutality, and how it influenced them.

The article evoked my own memories from as early as being a four year old who in the months following June 16 1976, could not clearly understand why the police in Elsies River were shooting school children, or why I heard stories of how my older cousins were throwing stones at bread trucks and buses. I could not understand why I wasn't allowed to play outside and I remember there was a day that almost all the kids, except me, had free Cokes 'liberated' by the rioting students.
 
During the 1979/80 wave of uprisings I could start to better understand the conversations of the adults and in 1985/86 I was also one of those who had to run and hide from police.
As a young teen only just getting to high school I was already politically aware due to reading any material I could get my hands on, courtesy of smuggled books & banned foreign newspapers and any little piece of pamphlets or booklets given and explained to me by the University students boarding with us at my parents' house.
Though I don't have any serious 'battle scars', being shot at with live ammunition on more than a few occasions could leave one somewhat rattled and I guess that counts as one of my mental scars.

The IOL article, Remembering That Fateful Period, sums up the experiences of four South Africans who in their youth may not have been in the forefront of the various student uprisings from '76 through to '89, but who have indeed lived through it and that day, June 16, 1976 is forever etched in their memories.
These people are all in their 50's now and it is interesting when one looks at the different ways they experienced 1976 that though they were not in Soweto they also do not want anyone to forget. In fact they want the youth of today to stop taking their "freedom" for granted.
It is however the comments section that triggered this article.
 

I find it quite appalling that not only so many White South Africans but people from all the various population groups, including Blacks & Coloureds, can casually or worse, very seriously say "Get Over It" when people discuss the brutality of the Apartheid regime.
How can anyone tell the families of those others, besides Hector Pieterson, that they should get over it?
How do I allow myself to forget the 16 year old Mervyn Jacobs killed when he was shot in the back by police in Elsies River on 8 September 1976 or the four others killed on the same and very following day?
That was just in my hometown ElsiesRiver.
There is a long list of young (and older) people all over the country killed by police in 1976.

There were more, many more, youths killed after 1976 and their memories are constantly desecrated when we are told to 'get over it'.
How are the families of Gugulethu Seven, the families of  The Trojan Horse Incident victims, the families of Robert Waterwitch & Coline Williams, Anton Fransch, Ashley Kriel and so many others either killed or forever scarred supposed to just forget and get over it.

How do we expect the legacy of people who have been tortured, detained without trial or banished to prison or exile to just be ignored by society when they have indeed made such heavy sacrifices on our behalf?
We should all forgive yes, but to "get over it" is to dishonour their legacy.

I do understand that the "new" South Africa is not everybody's ideal utopia that was fought for, or that there are whites who still long back to the days of Apartheid and that 20 years later many of us are no better off than we were before the end of Apartheid.
I shall however venture to say that the reason we are not better off is because we were expected to not only forgive but also to forget and so in a bid to have a peaceful transition, many compromises were made to the point that the only thing we have achieved is the right to make a little cross on a ballot paper but since 1994 The Freedom Charter was all but torn up and discarded.

I made the 'mistake' of rebutting a comment someone made to the article I have mentioned. The person basically said that he is tired of articles about apartheid and that "Russia got over Communism, Germany got over World war II, America got over Korea and Vietnam, everyone gets over their mistakes, We just seem to be stagnated in sh-t" (sic).
I pointed out that in all those cases he was talking about, it was the aggressors who 'got over it' but their victims still feel it.

He did not reply after that but others have jumped to his defence. One of the users went as far as saying amongst other things "If the savages were not so racist and hell bent on killing whites we would never have had apartheid".
I retorted with something sarcastic about how he was obviously smarter than I and that his statement trumped anything I could say. I then stopped commenting because I really do not know how to deal with racists in a way that will not end up with me wanting to hunt them down.

Now this little rant of mine about those cyber-racists is not just me sharing my feelings but I am hoping to make people see that though apartheid is no longer legislated, the effects thereof will still take a long time to eradicate.
Our current government is not dealing very well with the economic effects, in fact they are entrenching the economic effects of Apartheid instead of eradicating it. Actually, the keys to eradicating economic inequality were thrown away at CODESA even before the 1994 elections happened.

There are also the psychological effects which keeps the majority mentally, socially & economically enslaved and a growing number of Whites believing that the rest of South Africa owe Whites some sort of appreciation for ending apartheid and in return we should treat them as our liberators instead. This all while an elite few remain or have through dodgy BEE deals become excessively wealthy and the majority have become much poorer.

The four people who shared their experience in the article hinted that the youth of today are not realising their potential and I want to not only echo that but suggest that we all work together to find ways for youth to once again become activists in their community.
I'm not advocating that they start marching and protesting for every nilly-willy little thing but that they become activists involved in projects that will in one way or other help reverse the effects of Apartheid.
Those ways are manifold and honestly, I don't know exactly where we all need to begin, but we are a resourceful people and even if it means just starting by organising activities for youth in your own area to get them interested in building their own futures, we would have made a start and maybe, just maybe, some day we will all 'Get Over It'.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 15:23

New Cape Town Mayco is Nothing New

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Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille announced her new Mayoral Committee on Friday night and it was a move necessitated by the increase in support for the DA during the past national and provincial elections.

The announcement did not come without criticism.
On the one hand the mayor has been accused of cronyism and on the other hand she is criticised for not having changed the demographic representation of the Mayco.

Two of the mayoral committee members are going to Parliament. They are human settlements head Tandeka Gqada and health head  Lungiswa James, while corporate services head Demetri Qually has left to focus on heading the SA Local Government Association.

The new members joining the committee are Siyabulela Mamkeli heading up the Human Settlements portfolio, Xanthea Limberg in charge of Corporate Services and Benedicta van Minnen as the head of the Health directorate.
Then there is also newcomer Johan van der Merwe, who will take over economic, environmental and spatial planning from Garreth Bloor, who is shifting to the tourism, events and marketing portfolio left vacant by Grant Pascoe who defected to the ANC before the elections.

The rest of the committee remain the same: Brett Herron - transport; Belinda Walker - community services; Ernest Sonnenberg - utilities; JP Smith - safety and security; Suzette Little - social development and early childhood development; and finance – Ian Neilson.

It all seems good and well that there was a reshuffle and that it was done out of necessity.
So there is some form of continuity and it is business as usual... and that is perhaps what bothers those who say that Cape Town is not the best run city for all who live in it.

There are some, even within the council, who are not quite happy with the appointments made and others who believe that it is an opportunity missed; an opportunity to completely overhaul the City of Cape Town's Mayco.
According to IOL, unnamed sources within the council are claiming that Mayor de Lille used the reshuffle only as an opportunity to consolidate her power base within the DA and that the ideological differences between the former ID members and those originally from the DA are a stark reality.
Though it is more than common sense for any political leader or even a business leader to want to consolidate their power base at such an opportunity by appointing the people whose loyalty they can rely on, or as a reward for loyalty, this is of
course denied by the mayor's office.
In any case whether it is a power play or not, what the citizens need is that any reshuffle should serve the best interest of all the city's people, and not only the interest of the politicians.
However, having said that, who says the final decision of who gets appointed to the Mayco lies solely with the mayor?

It is the criticism from those outside the council coming from political commentators and activists that drew the interest of bruinou.com and one has to wonder; Should the demographics of those in this city who have voted the DA council into power and who have just recently also helped increase the DA's representation in parliament be reflected in the composition of the city's Mayco?

Have the DA missed an opportunity to show the large majority of Coloureds and the significantly increased number of Blacks in this city who have voted for them in the national and provincial elections that Cape Town, which during the elections they've touted as the best run city in the country, can be run by a Mayoral Committee which is not made up of mainly White members?
Certainly there must be enough Coloured and Black ward councillors as well as proportional representatives able to head up any of those portfolios.

On Saturday former Western Cape premier, Peter Marais who is retired from active politics and is now seen to be an activist against the marginalisation of Coloured people noted that given the demographic make-up of the DA support base, for Mayor Patricia de Lille to appoint a predominantly White Mayoral Executive Committee was a slap in the face of Coloured Capetonians.
He called on Coloureds to withdraw their support of the DA in the 2016 municipal elections asking "Why do DA supporters allow this? And don't tell me it's simply because you are non-racial"

He further commented: "The point which I am trying to make and which many people don't realise is that the DA is telling the world 'Coloured people are too unintelligent, inexperienced and not educated enough to serve on the city's Exco.'"
He says: "These positions are according to the DA best suited to White men and women who will remain in those positions till they retire or die one day.  Belinda Walker and Ian Nielsen have been serving on the Exco for 14 years. Could the DA not have trained others to fill their place?"

Mr Marais' comments cannot and should not be viewed as him simply taking a dig at the DA for the sake of it and turning this into a 'race issue' just to stir up a bit of trouble.
If he is a rabble-rouser then perhaps he is the kind of rabble-rouser we need more of.

A few months ago when Mr Marais along with other activists challenged the ANC about the need to "Consider the Western Cape's Demographics when applying AA and EE" the Democratic Alliance by voice of its leader Helen Zille jumped on the bandwagon and
loudly supported the call to take demographics into account when making key appointments in corporate as well as government positions.
How is this position thay have taken not reflected in the make-up of the city's executive body?

Speculation is rife that any appointment to the Mayco is not something the mayor herself controls and that she is just towing the party line. She might not have much of a say who end up as members of the Mayco especially when one looks at what the mayor's spokesperson Paul Boughey said when the mayor was criticised of centralisation, nepotism and cronyism.

“The appointments were made fully in line with the DA systems and procedures. “The mayor consulted with the deputy mayor (Ian Neilson) and the speaker (Dirk Smit) on the recommended list that would be presented to the DA’s federal executive committee for approval,” Boughey said.

The federal executive approved the recommended people at its meeting on Friday.
One cannot help but think that the recommended list was in fact as recommended by the federal executive and that if she had recommended a Mayco that truly reflects the demographics of the city's people, the DA Federal Executive would not approve it.

Money delays return of Koisan chief's remains Plans to repatriate the remains of a 240-year-old Khoisan chief from Australia, have been postponed to secure funding....
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 23:39

New Initiatives in Eldos Drug War

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The war on drugs in Eldorado Park in the south of Johannesburg intensified on Friday when additional programmes were introduced.

Gauteng social development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said the additional anti-substance abuse programmes were aimed at strengthening bonds in families facing battles related to drug use.
The other programmes were a mobile early childhood development centre, a parenting skills programme, an addicted to change programme, two Ke Moja (No Thank You) buses for mobile anti-substance abuse services and the Bright Star initiative.

The Ke Moja buses would benefit not only Eldorado Park residents, but people from surrounding areas including Freedom Park and Klipspruit West.

“Government is focusing on demand reduction of drugs in the province. A total of 4 125 beneficiaries have been reached through the drug awareness campaign. Without the community, this could not have been done,” said Mayathula-Khoza.
“It is the responsibility of parents to detect drug abuse and intervene early. Let us not make it the responsibility of
government, as government cannot be in every household.”

Police Major-General Phumzo Ngela said 2 844 drug-related cases had been opened in Eldorado Park after President Jacob Zuma’s visit to the area on May 15, 2013.
“Of the various cases, 510 people were convicted, 17 were found not guilty, 179 were referred for diversion programmes, 543 escaped after receiving bail, 429 cases were withdrawn and 902 cases are still pending,” said Maj-Gen Ngela.

“This past weekend more than 100 drug peddlers were arrested. We will camp here until all the druglords are rooted out.”
Maj-Gen Ngela urged communities to report druglords and corrupt police officers. “If one police officer is corrupt, it does not mean all are. Those found to be corrupt are wearing different uniforms now – in jail.”

Provincial government has established a toll-free number (0800-3333-880800-3333-88) linked to social workers who can supply information about the programmes. Three additional offices had been set up in Eldorado Park to deal with queries.

Click here to view the original article in The Citizen.

Julian A Jacobs recounts how after 44 years his elderly parents have left Manenberg to escape gang violence.
 
Cape Town - Derek and Constance Jacobs, my 70-year-old parents, packed up their belongings last month and left the place that has been home to them for the past 44 years.
 
It was an emotional leave-taking, and perhaps ironically so – their beloved home of more than four decades was none other than a council flat in gang-riven Manenberg.
 
And it was the incessant gang conflict – the needless shootings, the constant danger – that eventually forced their hand. They couldn’t take it any longer.
 
But that made the move no easier.
 
 
“I never thought I would be so attached to this place,” my father, Derek, said. “I can’t believe I am moving out after all these years. It seems like yesterday that we moved in. I love this place.”
 
As we carefully packed the final load of familiar household items on to the trailer, we prayed together as a family and thanked God for keeping us all safe all these years. Neighbours we knew as kids were no longer around.
 
My childhood friends are all gone – they’d either moved out, like my siblings and me, or they were dead, victims of the pervasive gang violence synonymous with Manenberg.
 
Neighbours who came to say goodbye struggled to hold back the tears as my parents bade them farewell.
 
For my parents, this council flat was their home. It was the “house” we all grew up in, although it was no more than a typical two-bedroomed council flat, better known among residents as korre. This very council home was being renovated when my parents moved out, 48 years after Manenberg was established in 1966.
 
Last year the City of Cape Town launched the renovation project. Yet for my ageing parents the Manenberg restoration came far too late.
 
The flat they have occupied for so long has an extensive history of deterioration. The cyclone that hit Manenberg in 1996, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, damaged the roof of their block.
 
And, as I stood downstairs with the memories of my days there welling up in me, I realised that even the stairs and the walls had seen better days.
 
Manenberg is a township 20km from Cape Town’s city centre. It is separated from Nyanga and Gugulethu townships by a railway line.
 
It is flanked by another coloured township, Hanover Park, to the west, by Heideveld to the north, and Nyanga to the east. Cape Town still bears the marks of the apartheid city it once was, with the marginalised communities – coloured, African and Indian – located on it edges.
 
The roads and public amenities, the lack of access to shops, transport hubs and jobs, were designed to put residents of these areas at a disadvantage. These policies helped keep people entrapped back then, and they remain trapped to this day.
 
Manenberg is no different from most Cape Flats townships, which sprang up against the backdrop of the apartheid government’s forced removal campaign of the 1960s.
 
So, watching my parents on their last day in Manenberg, I could identify with their sense of displacement. In 1970, they settled in a place that had no hot water and no protection from the gang infestation. They were restricted to raising their four children in a two-bedroomed government flat. Manenberg is probably one of the harshest places in which to raise children.
 
In recent weeks, the effects of violence are spreading through my old home town. Manenberg is again going through a spate of gang violence, and the innocent are the real victims.
 
As we chatted, my dad said: “I hate moving. I did it once all those years ago as a child, when we were removed from our family home in Crawford during the mid-1960s to Hanover Park.
 
“I can’t take this. I am not used to this. Manenberg has been my life, my home, for more than 40 years. I am going to miss the sounds, the busyness, the sense of community. But I will not miss the violence and the drug-affected kids who pay us no respect.”
 
As the city continues with its face-lifting of the Cape Flats, the status quo still remains. The ugly truth of living in renovated council houses (which residents will still not own) is that, once outside these homes, you are still confronted with the harsh reality of high unemployment, unsafe spaces for children to play, unsafe schools, gang-related problems, and continuous violence.
 
The city should rather address this as a matter of urgency if it hopes to be regarded as legitimate among marginalised communities.
 
Spending money on providing safe, properly built homes, safer communities and access to amenities is more important at this time than spending it on a new logo.
 
The promises that all political parties are punting ahead of the May 7 elections will not fool citizens any more, especially since they have been living in the same conditions for 40 years.
 
As my parents live out their remaining years with me and my siblings, many other residents of Manenberg of their generation face a gloomy future.
 
The city should play a role even now for the older generation in providing dignified care for them in accessible old age homes and safe spaces.
 
* Julian A Jacobs, a former resident of Manenberg, is the communications director of the Human Sciences Research Council, and has an MA in history.
 
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.
 

Manenberg is a township in the Cape Flats outside Gugulethu. The apartheid government originally created it to relocate 
 
Coloured families who had been forcibly removed from their homes. Today it often makes the news because of gang violence.
 
At 19:03 on Wednesday night last week, I received this SMS: "Mary-Anne, they are shooting without stopping here. One Jester 
 
has been shot." (The Jesters is the name of one of the Manenberg gangs.)
 
The woman who sent the message, Roegchanda Pascoe, is the same one whose daughter was shot during a shooting between gangs 
 
last year. "The wound has healed, but mentally she has a long way to go," she said after being asked how her daughter was 
 
currently doing.
 
Pascoe, together with people from the community, different organisations, and the Community Policing Forum (CPF) have 
 
started a campaign called Taking Back Our Streets, where they come in solidarity and march through the streets of Manenberg, 
 
with placards demanding an end to gang violence.
 
Manenberg CPF spokesman Kader Jacobs said the campaign was doing well but they were struggling because people feared for 
 
their lives. "At the moment the campaign is only between 5 and 6pm. We want to increase our time on the road, but people are 
 
scared of what might happen to them if they stay out late."
 

He described some of the violence that broke out this week. Speaking to GroundUp on 25 February, he said: "It is hectic 
 
right now. Just yesterday morning, at about 6.30am, gangs started shooting. It was an absolute war."
 
Jacobs says, "Gangs started shooting because they knew that children were on their way to school; they were basically using 
 
the school kids as human shields from police. They know that if they shoot while the children are around, the police will 
 
not retaliate for fear of hurting the innocent children. Last night, the shooting happened again and it was non-stop for 
 
like 20 minutes. This is happening constantly no matter what time of the day."
 
One of the Taking Back Our Streets campaign organisers, Larenzo Morris, said they started the campaign on 5 February this 
 
year. Its aim is to take back their streets from gangs because police did not know how to do it.
 
Jacobs was also critical of the police but he hopes things will change. "The police haven't beefed up their services but 
 
there have been talks of bringing in more city police and the police doing foot patrols around the area."
 
Jacobs said, "This campaign is the combined efforts of many people. It is now up to the community to ask the gangs to stop 
 
shooting. This involves everyone, young and old. Since we started the campaign we have seen a bit of a difference but it is 
 
at minimum level and that is not good enough. You will find that if the gangs were planning on a shootout, they will stop 
 
once we come through the area, but that is minimum respect."
 

There are still many challenges, Jacobs said. "What the campaign needs is resources so we can become bigger and stronger. 
 
Right now we are asking the gangs to stop shooting but we will reach the point where we will demand the shooting to stop. 
 
The community is fed up. There are many underlying reasons for this ongoing gang violence. One is that there is no clear 
 
sense of direction of leadership in Manenberg. We are trying our best to cover the whole of Manenberg and at the moment we 
 
are rotating our routes, and trying to march through different streets every day. We meet every evening at 5pm in Manenberg 
 
Avenue at the traffic circle which we call Freedom Square," said Morris.
 
Earlier this week, five Manenberg schools went to court to try to force the Western Cape Education Department to provide 
 
adequate security for teachers and learners. The temporary order was later overturned.

Click here for the original article on GroundUp.
Monday, 10 February 2014 09:31

Mantashe appeals to Cape Coloureds

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Cape Town - ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe wooed coloured voters in Cape Town on Friday, telling them there was a space for them in the ruling party.
 
"You don't need to ask for that space, it is there," he told various coloured interest groups and leaders of Western Cape-based political parties during an ANC lunch.
 
"One thing I always said to the Western Cape, one of the things which irritates me as a person is when coloured people regard themselves as a minority. It irritates me all the time."
 
Speaking after a two-day visit to the Cape Flats, Mantashe said coloured people would remain a minority if they did not define themselves properly.
 
He said the myth of a homogenous coloured population - rather than a diverse group made up of the Khoi, San, and other groups - had allowed opposition parties to take control of the province.
 
"You call yourself a minority. You are governed by a minority all the time. It's a mindset. We must liberate ourselves... and appreciate you are part of a majority."
 
He said people he visited were shocked to find out the ANC had not won complete control of the province since 1994.
 
"The Western Cape has never tasted a free South Africa since 1994. The Western Cape must taste that freedom and take that decision - what do they want to do with it?"
 
Mantashe said support for the party did not equate to a free ride.
 
"One thing we are not going to do is give coloureds presents. Coloured people must play their role and earn their responsibilities. They must earn it among all of us."
 
- SAPA