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Johannesburg - Ministers not speaking at a parliamentary debate did not reflect government's attitude in tackling the issue of gender-based violence, government said on Friday.
“Now is the time for collective action and partnership to eradicate gender-based violence, not a time to score political points at the expense of efforts to work together to eradicate this scourge,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) spokeswoman Phumla Williams.
The GCIS was responding to an article in the Mail & Guardian Online saying ministers were absent during this week's debate on gender-based violence in the National Assembly.
The article quoted Democratic Alliance deputy justice spokeswoman Debbie Schafer as saying that this absence was symptomatic of a lack of leadership in dealing with this issue.
Williams said this was incorrect.
“Government did participate in the political debate,” she said in a ststement.
Speakers included Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
“The fact that certain ministers did not speak during a parliamentary debate does not reflect government's attitude towards tackling this scourge.”
Williams said government had announced various initiatives this week that were geared toward gender-based violence. This included the establishment of a national council against gender based violence, and the stop rape campaign in schools. - Sapa