AROUND 1000 church and community members from Buffalo Flats, Pefferville and Parkside in East London brought traffic in Windyridge Road to a standstill yesterday morning with a march against crime.
The marchers included Marcia and Gerrit Gordon, the parents of Lee Ann Gordon, the 20-year-old Gonubie girl found murdered in Parkside.
The march formed part of an East London Ministries Fraternal initiative to support and show their involvement in the communities in which they operate.
Clad in black and led by three brass bands, the protesters held-up placards that portrayed their growing concerns over the crimes in their communities.
Rector of two Anglican churches, the Good Shepherd and St Laurence, Father Nkosiphindile Matshaya said because of the nationwide outcry, various churches were marching in solidarity with the community against crime.
“This means churches are also taking a stand against the social ills faced by the community, because we are also part of the community,” said Matshaya.
Speaking at the march, chairman of the East London Ministries Fraternal and reverend at the Uniting Reformed Church in Parkside, Clinton Petersen, said the initiative belonged to everyone, irrespective of their denomination.
“One more rape, violent act and death to a woman or child is too much and we are all here for one purpose, to fight this evil in our communities,” said Petersen.
Kayna Vengadajellum from Shiloh Fellowship in Parkside said it was about time that communities and churches took a stand to say “no more”.
“We are sick and tired of the drug and alcohol abuse and the rape of women and children ,” said Vengadajellum.
A community member who joined the march said she and her family lived in constant fear of her 17-year- old son who was a tik (methamphetamine) addict.
Addressing the crowd, station commander from the Buffalo Flats police station Colonel David Kanuka said drug abuse was the root of most of the crimes in the communities.
“We have to let churches, communities, schools and non-governmental organisations take their stand in fighting crime,” said Kanuka, who accepted a petition from the protestors.
Meanwhile police have confirmed their investigation into the murder of Lee Ann Gordon is nearing completion and they were waiting the results of forensic tests. — arethal@- dispatch.co.za