Cape Town entertainment icon and activist Soli Philander is undeterred by a court ruling barring him from making contact with the Managing Director of the Marion Educare Centre in District Six.

Philander has taken up the community of Woodstock’s struggle against those in charge of the centre which was once a haven for the young people of District Six.

Soli Philander vows to continue the fight

The activist was arrested on Saturday, supposedly for violating a protection order taken out against Philander and a number of other community members.

The arrest came after Philander brought to the attention of authorities and the community at large that a 4-year-old girl was in danger and being kept in the Marion.

The child is safe

Western Cape Social Development Minister Sharna Fernandez confirmed that the girl had been removed from the Marion and placed in protective custody. A full investigation will be conducted by the department of social development according to Fernandez.

Philander, meanwhile has been ordered not to make contact or encourage others to make contact with the Managing Director of the Marion. 

Legal counsel for Philander, Kevin Titus explained: “Don’t contact them telephonically, don’t whatsapp them, don’t send them messages on Instagram and don’t encourage anyone else to send them messages.”

Titus advised Philander to allow the court and the department of social development handle the issue of the complaints against the Marion.

Allegations of drug abuse and paedophilia have been levelled at senior figures within the board of the Marion.

Philander has related these accounts from children of the community, detailing at length, what has allegedly been going on behind the doors of the community centre that has operated for over a hundred years.

The comedian has used his platform to amplify voices that he says are being neglected.

On Saturday Philander said that police had ignored previous complaints, even rejecting an empty packet which allegedly contained the residue of methamphetamine as evidence that drugs were being consumed in the offices at the community centre.

The Marion houses two nursery schools, senior clubs, a community hall where community events and a Sunday church service take place, and other recreational activities. 

In a message posted to his social media, Philander vowed to continue the fight to ‘free the Marion’ within the bounds of the restrictions imposed upon him by the court.

“Thank you, everyone, for the support,” Philander wrote. 

“I feel assured that the little girl is safe, and everything possible is being done to make sure it remains so. Palpable relief from my children – I’ma go ask the church if we can meet in their hall later – it’s cold, and it’s raining.

“We’ve got planning and strategizing to do about ensuring in future that should they have need for such a space that they are able to use the one bequeathed them.”

Philander has maintained that his focus remains on ensuring the safety and security of the children of District Six.

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Presh JM Reporter

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