Men march against GBV

Men from different walks of life took to the streets to protest against gender-based violence.
Men from different walks of life took to the streets to protest against gender-based violence.
Image: 123RF/Andreypopov

Instead of celebrating Father's Day with loved ones, some men took to the streets to protests against gender-based violence (GBV). Men from different walks of life took a stand, saying they cannot be celebrated as fathers due to the many gruesome murders of women that have happened over the past few weeks.

One group, under a new organisation formed just 10 days ago called Act Now, drove from Nasrec, Johannesburg, to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, in protest against GBV.

At the Union Buildings, they submitted a memorandum of demands to Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, minister of women, youth and people with disabilities. Another protest was led by the MK Military Veterans Association in Soweto.

Veteran actor Sello Maake KaNcube, the interim spokesperson of Act Now, said the demonstration was perfectly timed.

"We cannot be celebrated as fathers when men are committing some of the most horrendous crimes ever seen. We felt we have to stand up, add our voice and start the fight. We must end gender-based violence, at least in our lifetime. Like in film, it starts with words. Words influence action and action becomes a habit and the habit ultimately transforms character. We need to rewrite that script..."

Maake KaNcube said the organisation made up of artists, businessmen and intellectuals would formulate a proper programme aimed at addressing "toxic masculinity" in the country.

"One of the things we are thinking about is having a conference where men will gather but only women will speak. No man will speak in that conference.

"We will listen to the women and then come up with the plan to address the issues they have raised," he said.

Among the demands of Act Now are the following:

No bail for those accused of gender-based violence;

Waiting trial accused must be fed by their own families;

State security and the NPA should protect victims and survivors as state witnesses;

State must provide free legal representation to victims.

Over the past few weeks, SA has been troubled by gruesome murders which included that of Tshegofatso Pule.

On Saturday, a group of clergy men demonstrated along the Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, against the rise of this scourge. The initiative was called Grace Point.

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