The sombre mood and silent determination on the faces of the marchers at Randpark Ridge in Johannesburg yesterday said it all.
Residents, teachers and pupils of Trinity House Preparatory School staged the silent march in memory of 12-year-old Emily Williams, who was killed by a stray bullet during a shootout between robbers and security guards outside the home of a schoolmate two weeks ago. Emily was a Grade 7 pupil at the school.
The demonstrators, waving placards and posters, wore pink and carried pink balloons in honour of victims of violence. Some of the placards read: "How many still need to die?" and "Children have a right to safety".
Trinity House principal Ron Brown said Emily's death had spurred the community into action. He said the march was held in Emily's memory.
The school donated R67000 - most of it coming from parents - to the Honeydew Community Policing Forum.
Babalwa Tungande, 14, a Grade 8 pupil at Trinity House, said Emily's death had left pupils feeling insecure.
"Because of crime we are not safe anymore," she said.
Meanwhile, four men charged with Emily's death appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court last week. They also face charges of attempted murder, robbery and possession of unlicensed firearms.