The Democratic Alliance fully supports the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign which will be launched in the Eastern Cape today. (subs: wed: 25 Nov) As a result, the DA Womenâ€™s Network will on Friday (subs: 27 Nov) be marching to the East London Magistrateâ€™s Court to hand over a petition signed by all those who do not support silence against abuse on woman and children.
The DA believes that one of the biggest problems in dealing with cases of abuse is the weak justice system. Documents and dockets go missing, cases drag on and get thrown out of courts and conviction rates remain low.
Alcohol and drug abuse, unemployment, and depression are said to be the cause of violence. But there is nothing that can justify violence against women and children. It is clear that gender based violence is destroying our communities.
The constitution is the highest law in the country therefore it should be respected. The South African Constitution protects the basic rights of citizens, as well as freedom of movement, expression and sexual orientation. Pregnant women are provided with free health care and the right to terminate pregnancy; the Domestic violence Act makes marital rape and violence illegal; the Customary Marriage Act ensures that women do not become property in marriage.
And yet South Africa has the highest femicide rate in the world: a woman is killed by her intimate partner every six hours, according to the Medical Research Council. We also have one of the highest rape statistics in the world â€“ on average 99 per day, but NICRO estimates that only one in 20 cases are actually reported. Of reported cases, only seven percent are successfully prosecuted.
We call on all those who are abused in their homes to come forward and speak out. Those who are been physically and emotionally abused by their husbands or partners need to understand that it is not their fault and that nothing can justify abuse.
The Ministry of Women and Children that has been created to deal with vulnerable groups must be visible; its presence is not being felt, except to see the minister, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, attending national events. How many violence-related laws have been passed by this ministry? What has been done about human trafficking? Where is it visible in the province? Where are its offices?
People must know what their rights are. We must speak out against violence and get religious and traditional leaders to assist in this task.
Let us as leaders eradicate this scourge of violence and commit ourselves to strengthening the judiciary, SAPS and Social Services to foster a just society.
For further information, please contact VELISWA MVENYA MPL on 082 4187 916