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Flash mobs for One Billion Rising

Crime & Courts

Cape Town - Flash mobs across the country led by various organisations took to major cities to protest against rape and violence against women and children in the One Billion Rising campaign.

As a backdrop to the brutal rape and killing of Anene Booysen, organisations in Cape Town gathered at the Cape Town station to protest.

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Thousands of students and faculty members dance to the theme song of the One Billion Rising campaign in the quadrangle of the St. Scholastica college in Manila February 14, 2013. One Billion Rising is a global campaign to call for an end to violence against women and girls, according to its organisers.  REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco (PHILIPPINES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY EDUCATION)Cape Town - 130214 - An emphatic Umuvunga Ngoma Burundi drummer smiles with enjoyment as he plays and sings. Members of LeadSA, Dance4Life, Sonke Gender Justice Group, and Umvunga Ngoma Burundi Drummers converged on the Cape Town station at midday to protest against rape in South Africa. Prasa eventually kicked them off since they had no permit and the procession dissapated, some of them continuing up some streets. PICTURE: THOMAS HOLDER. REPORTER: SIBUSISIWE LWANDLE.

Speaking at the demonstration, LeadSA’s Yusuf Abramjee called on President Jacob Zuma to act.

“We need stricter enforcement of the law. We need civil society to unite.” Protesters shouted: “Stop Rape, LeadSA.”

Dancers from Dance for Life, and a group of traditional dancers from Burundi led the crowds in a universal “protest dance”.

“We are calling for an end to violence against women through dance and harmony,” said a dancer from the Sonke Gender Justice Network, Merle O’Brien.

Stellenbosch University students also hosted a mass silent protest on campus on Thursday.

“Stellenbosch University itself has lent its support to the student protest,” said rector and vice-chancellor Russel Botman.

Participating students’ mouths were covered with duct tape, to symbolise solidarity with those whose voices are not heard.

Pupils and staff at Springfield Convent School in Wynberg have also taken a stance to raise awareness by dressing in black on Friday.

“By wearing black, our pupils will become more aware of making a stand against all forms of violence,” said principal Barbara Houghton.

Cosatu said on Thursday that the brutality and violent nature of sexual crime in the country was of serious concern.

“This is not only about rape, but the brutality and extreme violence that accompanies the crime,” the trade union federation said.

Cape Argus

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