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‘The Walker’ ends his 224km walk

Reading or hearing about the rape and abuse of women and children every day touched Jan “The Walker” Mabuyakhulu’s heart so deeply that it prompted him to embark on a 224km walk to raise awareness about the scourge.

But the last straw for Mabuyakhulu‚ 44‚ was when a 56-year-old man in his hometown area of Mtubatuba in northern KwaZulu-Natal raped his own mother whom he had forcefully made his wife until her death.

“I was very touched by that‚” said Mabuyakhulu while speaking at the Durban City Hall on Thursday afternoon during a civic reception where he was hosted by eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo in honour of his crusade against women and children abuse.

 The anti-rape and child abuse activist had just ended his 224km walk from Mtubatuba to Durban. This will soon be followed by another 550km walk from Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast to Lesotho and 560km from Mtubatuba to Johannesburg.

During his brief speech‚ Mabuyakhulu said there would be no freedom in South Africa if violence against women and children was not stopped.

“I like to watch news on TV and to read newspapers. And when I did that every day there was a woman who was raped or abused and I was touched by that and that’s why I decided to walk to raise awareness‚” he said.

He said being a man did not mean wearing pants but “means being a real man and real men do not rape and violate women. Men are even worse than animals.”

Mabuyakhulu was presented with gifts including a bag‚ running shoes‚ track suits and T-shirts and the city also paid for his overnight accommodation in Durban.

Nxumalo has pledged to lead a campaign to raise R10‚000 for Mabuyakhulu so that he can have water and food during his future walks.

Mabuyakhulu‚ who was joined in his walk by KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dlomo from Ballito to Durban‚ said his biggest dream is to build a shelter for the needy in Mtubatuba.

 He has also set up a Facebook page which has details about his walks and for those who want to contribute funds for his campaign.


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