The so-called mother of all marches is said to be attended by desperate people in the township angry at the upsurge in criminal activity.
At 4pm on Thursday, residents met at Sarafina Park where they planned how they will move from their place of meeting to the police station.
Soon after they dispersed, gunshots echoed in different extensions in the township instilling fear in the residents.
At about 20:00 Scrolla.Africa team were alerted of the death of two people who were shot and killed at a taxi rank in extension 11.
While police attended to that crime scene, other residents called for police’s intervention in other areas as they were also under attack by criminals.
Residents whistled and residents came out in numbers to protest against what happened.
In Diepsloot, the common enemy is crime. In the past 14 days, more than 12 people have been murdered — some in their homes, others on their way to and from work.
This has brought people from different political formations, religions, tribes, and racial groups together. They are all set to march to the Diepsloot Police Station tomorrow.
Their march, which they say will be the mother of all marches, will culminate in the handing over of a memorandum to the Gauteng provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela.
Leader of the Diepsloot Community Forum (DCF), Loyiso Toyiya, confirmed to Scrolla.Africa that the community will engage in a peaceful march to the police station.
“We have been informed by Diepsloot police management that Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela will be receiving our memorandum of grievances,” he said.
“More than 10 people have been killed and others are fighting for their lives in hospitals in the past 14 days. These people were shot or stabbed for their belongings like cellphones, television sets, and even shoes at their homes or when they were going to and from work. It cannot be.”
He added: “Women and girl children have been raped, some in front of their spouses by these ruthless criminals. We cannot fold our arms and watch criminals rule our kasi. We need to take a stance and ask those in power to help us fight these ruthless criminals.”
Toyiya said the march is supported by all residents of Diepsloot, regardless of which party or religion they belong to.
“We have Sanco, the EFF, Operation Dudula, the Patriotic Alliance, churches, women forums and community groups from all extensions in the township joining the march,” he said.
This is the third time the residents of a Gauteng township are taking to the streets.
“Each time we protest against crime, Police Minister Bheki Cele deploys more police officers. When there is high police visibility, crime goes down. But when criminals see that the police have left a township, crime spikes again,” Toyiya added.
Another leader of the DCF, Lefa Nkala, said since the last community protest against crime, people have been dying at the hands of criminals.
Nkala said in the past two weeks:
- Filling stations in the area have been bombed
- Over 10 people lost their lives
- A police officer was gunned down during a robbery at a filling station
- A taxi owner became a victim of the uncontrollable crime in the area
- A family lost three members at the same time when merciless criminals shot at them
- A butcher’s owner was killed when locking up his business
- Another man was gunned down in the presence of his wife and children
“Should we tolerate that? Enough is enough! We can’t live like this. We must make a stand and cry out to our government to intervene,” said Nkala.
EFF convener Jack Mogano said: “All the available fighters on Friday are required to support and join the march since crime affects us all.”
Operation Dudula’s Emmanuel Mabogoane said now is the time to stand up and raise our concerns about crime in communities.
Patriotic Alliance branch chairperson Lucas Ramasobana called on all party members to attend the march organised by the DCF.
Nosana Bosch from Diepsloot Women’s Forum encouraged all women and residents of Diepsloot to support and be part of the march against crime.
“Women are the most vulnerable to crime in our society,” she said.