Monday, 31 August 2020

The Central Gauteng Lions (‘CGL’) stands against all forms of prejudice, discrimination, and violence.  The Union is committed to a democratic society that value human rights, dignity, equality, peace, and justice for all as enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution.

Against this background, CGL reiterates its strong stance against all forms of violence that continue to plague our society whether it be in the hands of law enforcement, farm attacks, violence against different sexual orientation, and gender based violence amongst other forms.

Notably, we wish to express our extreme disquiet and grave concern about the deaths of Collins Khosa and Nathaniel Julies.

On 10April 2020 during the nation-wide lockdown, Collins Khosa died senselessly in Alexandra when SANDF members abused their authority and brutally assaulted him on spurious grounds relating to alcohol, while metro police officers looked on.

On 26 August 2020, we learned about death of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies of Eldorado Park at the hands of the police. Nathaniel who suffers from Down’s Syndrome was ostensibly caught in the cross-fire between the police and gangs, but police failed to take the necessary precautions in protecting civilian life in that confrontation.

According to former Eldorado Park resident, Professor Garth le Pere, Chair of CGL’s transformation sub-committee, “this reckless behaviour by police shows that Nathaniel’s tragic death is symptomatic of a growing insecurity and failure of law enforcement in poor and disadvantaged communities across the country.

“We would like to call on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to conduct and conclude the investigation expeditiously, transparently and without fear or favour. It’s imperative that justice is served, and that more accountable and responsible policing be put in place.”

CGL CEO Jono Leaf-Wright expressed his deepest sympathy; “I send my condolences on behalf of CGL to the Khosa family and residents of Alexandra and more recently the Julies family and community of Eldorado Park at large.

“Rest assured that CGL is aware of the ongoing marginalisation of communities such as Alexandra and Eldorado Park and we will do all within our power to stand for justice.

“Our cricketing roots are deep within these communities, communities of good people, and it breaks my heart to know about such tragedies so close to home. I send my love, strength and thoughts to all families in all our various communities who have been affected by violence in any way.”

We also would like to call on Government and the Police to ensure the safety of all farmers and farm employees who are continually attacked and under fire.  Our farmers and their employees play a key role in our food supply and are rightful citizens of our country. The amount of farm murders cannot continue any longer and our farmers and farm employees need to be able to feel safe from intruders and feel safe on their farms and in their homes.

In conclusion Leaf-Wright enjoins us all to unite in solidarity and affirm the fundamental rights of all citizens, but especially those who continue to suffer from the ravages of racially-defined poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

“I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika – let’s hold hands, let’s unite and let’s move this country forward together.”