MEC hits who bully out at men and abuse

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Women should be free to wear whatever they please, even mini skirts, without fear of victimisation, said Gauteng MEC for community safety Firoz Cachalia.

"Nobody has the right to tell anyone how to dress. If a woman wants to wear a short skirt, it is her right," Cachalia said yesterday.

Cachalia was speaking at the opening of a victim-empowerment centre in Duduza, Ekurhuleni, on the first day of the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children campaign.

The international campaign starts on November 25, International Day of No Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, International Human Rights Day, every year and also coincides with World Aids Day on December 1.

Cachalia was referring to Nwabisa Ngcukana, who was stripped and sexually molested in February by taxi drivers at Johannesburg's Noord Street taxi rank for wearing a mini skirt. He chastised men who believed manhood was about domination over others.

He said nobody had the right to "humiliate" women because of their style of dress.

Cachalia urged the community to speak out against discrimination and abuse.

Called Ikhaya Lokhuselo - a place of safety - the centre will provide a "safe space" for victims of violence.

Victims can report crimes such as rape and domestic violence in the privacy and comfort of the centre instead of at a police station, said director of victim empowerment in the department, Allison Wainwright.

Staff at the centre will liaise with the nearest police station to report the crime, counsel the victim and prepare them for court appearances, said Wainwright.