'I can't understand how they can survive with that fear.'

It's often said that police are ineffective in controlling violence in gang-ridden areas of Cape Town.

But Wellington resident Marietjie says witnessing a gang fight during a visit to Atlantis opened her eyes to the difficulties faced both by the people living there and members of the police.

She describes her experience to Lester Kiewit on Open Line.

I was appearing at Atlantis court two days ago as an attorney and as I came out of the court there were two gangs fighting... it was the most frightening experience of my life.

Marietjie, Caller

A person saw me and told me to get into his car and lie down flat and that's what I did and luckily just a few minutes thereafter the police arrived.

Marietjie, Caller

Marietjie refers to callers making suggestions about what the police should do and says it's easy for people not living in affected areas to comment without knowing the realities.

It's not as simple as that; these gangs are there with the only intention to hurt people, to be violent.

Marietjie, Caller

People phoning in living in other areas must just think twice before saying it must be so easy for police, or easy for people living there to eradicate this violence in their communities - it's not.

Marietjie, Caller

I'm fortunate I don't live there. I could jump into my car, I could speed out of Atlantis and come back to my office but those people who are left behind, with small children, that is their reality... I can't understand how they can survive with that fear.

Marietjie, Caller

Kiewit concurs with the caller's sentiments, citing an interview he did with a Manenberg resident who witnessed an alleged gang killing in 2016.

The woman was the only person out of about a dozen witnesses prepared to testify in court, he says. The others are just too scared of the repercussions to come forward.

She recognises that so many people are afraid to come forward and tell police what they saw.

Lester Kiewit, Talk show host

To listen to Open Line, click on the link below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'I can't understand how they can survive with that fear.'


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