'Men see objects in women, not equals'

Judge Zukisa Tshiqi
Judge Zukisa Tshiqi
Image: Puxley Makgatho

As the country marks the 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender-based violence, Constitutional Court justice Zukisa Tshiqi has reflected on the brutality meted out on SA's women.

"This past year has been very painful for many families because many women of various ages have been subjected to various forms of abuse. Some have died... at the hands of our own brothers, husbands and fathers," said Tshiqi.

Speaking at the launch of the annual campaign at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, she reflected on the killing of a policewoman by her husband at the weekend.

Sgt Yvonne Moyana, 43, a communication officer attached to the Tzaneen cluster, was allegedly shot dead by her husband in the presence of their children at their home. Her husband, a police officer, apparently later committed suicide.

Tshiqi also touched on the death of UCT student Uyinene Mrewtyana who was murdered four months ago in a post office.

"There is nothing unusual about what Uyinene did on the day she met her untimely death. She simply went into a post office. It could have been any young woman and she could have gone anywhere to run her daily errands," she said.

Luyanda Botha was sentenced to three life terms for her rape and murder. Tshiqi said many men who committed similar crimes did not see women as human beings.

"So, what drove him to what he did? My take on it is that he simply saw an object he could use for his own sexual gratification. "Did he see a daughter, a friend, a niece, a sister? We can deduct from his despicable conduct that he didn't see a human being."

Tshiqi challenged families to play a more active role in educating boys about equality between men and women.

"We should condemn every form of violence and abuse. Young men need to learn from an early age that their male gender does not give them any superior rights compared to the female gender."

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