On 12 December 2012 the Safety and Violence Initiative (SAVI) – a newly established unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT) – hosted a public seminar titled ‘Safety and Violence in Khayelitsha’. The purpose of the seminar was to provide a platform for discussion about the causes of a lack of safety and widespread violence in Khayelitsha and the actions that can be taken to address these issues. The seminar was held the day before the Cape High Court heard the application by the SAPS to stop the O’Regan/Pikoli Commission of Inquiry from continuing its investigation into problems with policing and the criminal justice system in Khayelitsha.
Approximately 120 people attended the seminar including many activists from the Social Justice Coalition, Treatment Action Campaign and Equal Education. Speakers were UCT’s Professor Jeremy Seekings (Political Studies and Sociology) and Dr Leon Holtzhausen (Social Development), Mr Mjxaji (Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Cluster Community Policing Forum), Dr Genine Josias (Medical Coordinator at the Khayelitsha Thuthuzela Forensic Centre) and the SJC’s Axolile Notywala. Each speaker presented their views and experiences of crime, violence, safety, policing and a range of related topics – about Khayelitsha and in general – followed by a Q & A session.
Seminars such as these are an important element of the process required to address issues of safety and violence in Khayelitsha and everywhere in the country.