Durban was brought to a standstill yesterday when hundreds of people marched peacefully against police killings, xenophobia and all forms of crime.
Armed with loudhailers, placards and posters with messages that condemn all forms of crime, the crowds, which included Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Willies Mchunu, sauntered across the streets calling for an immediate end to the maiming and killing of police officers, xenophobia and all forms of crime.
Ululations and chants of “stop police killings, stop police killings…crime must fall…” and “phansi ngobugebengu (down with crime)” reverberated across the city, as the united phalanx that included community crime fighting structures, labour movements and the general public marched across Durban.
The march was held to drum up community support for the police, rejecting and condemning police killings, mobilising the communities against crime; endorsing community policing, promoting political tolerance and peaceful co-existence in the area and KwaZulu-Natal.
It follows the continued murder and maiming of police officers in the province and country with well over 70 police having been killed in the country so far this year. In 2014/2015 financial year, 14 police officers were killed in KwaZulu-Natal.
During the march, MEC Mchunu explained that everyone had a role to play in fighting crime, as the police alone would never defeat the scourge.
“We are here to register, in no uncertain terms, our strongest support for the police. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the maiming and killing of our officers, who are our first and last line of defence against criminals.”
“We are also here to promote greater relationships between the community, safety structures and the police.”
“As the Department of Community Safety and Liaison, we are extremely delighted that that hundreds of people came out in such huge numbers, to add their voice to rejecting crime and commit to playing a role in defeating this scourge,” said Mchunu.
He added that it was about time that police killings are treated as an attack against the state and high treason.