Cape Town – A concerned 23-year-old man from Hanover Park has penned an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa over the crime in the area in a bid to get him to take action.
Justin Fortuin said that in Hanover Park, and on the rest of the Cape Flats, crime, from gangsterism to robbery, was a social order that played out on a daily basis, affecting residents' lives negatively.
He said the recent shooting in Parkwood in which an 11-year-old child was killed in the crossfire, was one of many such incidents faced by communities on a daily basis.
“For many residents, crime has become part of our society to a point where we have no control over it. Hanover Park is viewed as a place of crime. For many young people crime has become the only option in life. Growing up with crime on your doorstep, it has become a way of life and easy to commit," he said.
“The majority of our youngsters are involved in criminal activities; it’s the biggest influence in Hanover Park. Crime in Hanover Park has also become the number one fear; even for myself, there is absolutely no freedom because of the high volumes of crime taking place. One can never move without fear in the neighbourhood; it’s constantly a factor that has to be considered when going anywhere."
Fortuin said the police were inefficient in combating any form of crime on the Cape Flats.
“I don't even know what a police van looks like anymore, because I haven't seen a police van patrolling our streets for quite some time now. There haven't been any dysfunctionalities reported from the police station that's responsible for patrolling Hanover Park (Philippi police station) but yet there is no visible policing in our area,” he said.
In the letter, Fortuin said many people now had more reason to fear the police, who were no longer viewed as a force that served and protected residents, but rather as a force whose members enforced their will on ordinary citizens.
“The very same police force kills you when you are seen as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It can be said that the SAPS is becoming a threat to our democracy,” he said.
“As the head of the Cabinet, the president should work more closely with the departments to implement more social programmes for communities. The laws around crime and justice, as the president said before, need to be treated with more urgency – so all the talking has been done and it's actually time to take action.”
The letter was sent via email on Thursday, and the support service director at the Private Office of the President, Michael Louw, acknowledged receiving it.