Questioning protest site

Berta van Rooyen, Tokai

The actions of SA Women Fights Back (SAWFB) are welcomed by concerned citizens in our country (“Ribbons to remember victims of violence,” Constantiaberg Bulletin, October 31 2019).

However, the site, at Lower Tokai, chosen for their action becomes questionable with Pollsmoor Prison nearby.

Protesting outside Pollsmoor would have reached the public and the actual audience.

The message could have hit home through the warders and prison authorities. Those under sentence need to be reminded of the consequences of their actions to help them to rehabilitate.

Violence against women is symptomatic of every South African community, just as the elderly, schoolboys, and males can be subjected to violent behaviour.

Verbal racial abuse, personal attacks in newspaper columns and, for instance, on SANParks are just as appalling.

To daily remind visitors of Lower Tokai of the killing of a teenager is seemingly no longer a sensitive issue but sounds like cheap sentiment.

The murder was treated as a high profile case whereas numerous cases are unresolved nationwide.

Those local police officers need to be reminded by the SAWFB of their responsibility. Yet to be regularly reminded of the cruel way a loved-one has died is a wound to be constantly scratched open.

Those remaining are now the receiver of social violence, not the perpetrator(s).

Lower Tokai Park is a recreational area. It is not a national graveyard nor a memorial garden.

The cowardly act of 2016 (symbolised by the ribbons) was neither committed by SANParks nor the fynbos but by
one person now behind bars.

SAWFB will be much better off if they distance themselves from the so-called ribbon gate. The latter is also seen by many as a symbol of keeping blame alive against SANParks. Thus contradicting the drive against violence.

I am certain Francesca would approve of our enjoyment of life instead of using her death as propaganda against SANParks.