Investigate prosecution of gender-based violence perpretators‚ Mr President: Struggle stalwart

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

Struggle stalwart Sophia de Bruyn wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to look into the prosecution of perpetrators of gender-based violence.

“They know the police does not have the skill to properly investigate the cases and they know‚ Mr President‚ that our democracy has not infused police management with the necessary will to put an end to this.”

De Bruyn is one of the survivors from the women’s march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956 that is celebrated on National Women’s Day. De Bruyn‚ along with Lillian Ngoyi‚ Helen Joseph‚ Rahima Moosa and other compatriots led 20‚000 women to defy the apartheid pass laws that restricted the movement of black people.

“This fills me with a lot of pain and sadness. We did not march against that brutal apartheid regime for our democratic government to treat perpetrators of women abuse with kid gloves.”

She was speaking at the National Women’s Day event on Thursday in Mbekweni‚ Paarl‚ in the Western Cape where Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address.

Department of Women minister Bathabile Dlamini backed De Bruyn’s concerns. “Our children are killed every day. Yes‚ we demand our government to respond to the issues of violence against women and children‚” Dlamini said. “Without the buy-in of the [government] leadership‚ women are going to continue living under the chains of patriarchy.

“Why do we have the protection order that we die with? The time has come for us to come with proactive programmes that are about the protection of women‚ not programmes that are always reactive. We don’t have to wait until a two-year-old child is raped and only then respond.”

Ramaphosa said gender-based violence was a “crisis” - and that a “war” was being waged against women in towns‚ cities‚ homes‚ schools‚ universities‚ streets‚ parks and open spaces.

“A war is being waged against the women of South Africa. It is a war against women’s bodies‚ their dignity‚ their right to freedom‚ their right to security and equality. It is an affront to our common humanity and a betrayal to the values of our Constitution.”

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