The ‘Khoi San Three’ will continue their dramatic demonstration against gang killings outside the Premier’s office until the Minister of Police meets them. MPL Christian Martin, along with Cora Henning and Crawford Fraser, all of whom use the title Chief, set up a tent and dozens of crosses outside Phumullo Masualle’s Bhisho offices on Friday.
Martin slept in a coffin last night in a grim evocation of the average 11 people a month he says die in gang violence in Port Elizabeth’s Northern Areas. This morning he told Grocott’s Mail they expected to meet with Premier Phumulo Masualle on Tuesday.
“But it’s actually the Minister [of Police Bheki Cele]we’re waiting for,” Martin told Grocott’s Mail.
In statements issued last night and this morning, Martin said the rate of killings in gang violence in Port Elizabeth’s Northern Areas was no longer a crisis, but a state of emergency.
“This is a call to government to intervene to stop a a soon to be second genocide.The only diference is this latest one is self inflicted,” he wrote. “The Northern Areas should be saved from ourselves before it self destructs.”
Martin said he was sleeping in a tent in front of the Premier’s office rather than sleep in his Northern Areas house “cause it’s not a home any more”.
“The crosses represent 81 gang killings from April to October 2018. The coffin [I’m sleeping in represents] the state of the Northern Areas: we are the living dead, kept hostage in our own homes, not knowing where the next bullet will come from and whose life will end,” Martin said.
“Our only sin living in the Northern Areas is that we are witnessing crime,” Martin wrote. “I have been attending funerals from the age of 2 – I’m now 66. This is traumatising: I can’t sit still and quietly pray that my family won’t get killed.”
The Khoi San Three protest action began the day after MEC for Economic Development and Tourism Oscar Mabuyane tabled the 2018 Adjusted Estimates of the Provincial revenue and Expenditure, the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement and the 2018 Adjusted Appropriation Bill.
“It was MEC Oscar Mabuyane who said [in his Thursday 22 November presentation to the Legislature]that “we are in government to represent the aspirations of ordinary citizens,” Martin said. “I am up for this challenge.”
Martin said the Premier’s Chief of Staff had spoken to him this morning (Saturday 24 November), saying all Premiers had been called to a meeting in Limpopo and that Masualle would only be back on Tuesday.
“We will meet him then,” he told Grocott’s Mail. “But it’s the Minister we really want to see.”