File picture: Fernando Llano/AP
Pretoria - A silent march, to be led by a group of men with black tape over their mouths, is planned to take place in Pretoria on Saturday to raise awareness of woman abuse.

Organisers said the two-hour march was motivated by the much-publicised violent incidents perpetrated by men against women in the country.

Co-ordinator Siyabulela Jentile said the march would take place under the banner #NotInMyName, aiming at mobilising men to take a stand against woman abuse.

“We are living in South Africa and we keep track of what is happening on social media.

“We are aware of what is happening in the country. We were not going to fold our arms and do nothing while our women and girlfriends continue to be victimised daily,” Jentile said.

He said the movement would intensify a call against woman abuse on Saturday at a march starting at Church Square and heading to the Union Buildings.

Jentile said participants would depart from Church Square at 10am, with black tape over their mouths to symbolise the silence of men on the ongoing abuse of women.

“We are men who want to hold each other accountable. The fact that me and you don’t beat up our girlfriends or our wives doesn’t mean we should be excluded from a call for men to desist from abusing women,” he said.

Activist group Brothers for Life, religious movements and bikers are among those expected to take part in the march. Women are also welcome to attend the march.

Jentile added that some men in North West had pledged to march in Mahikeng on Saturday to raise concerns about woman abuse.

At the Union Buildings, participants would listen to anti-abuse messages, but wouldn't hand over a memorandum.

“After the messages we will remove the black tape from our mouths and we will start singing songs. "We will obviously have a keynote address by a speaker, who we are still going to confirm,” Jentile said.

The movement was using social media and other media platforms to mobilise for more people to join the march.

“It is more of an awareness- raising campaign. We are in fact marching against ourselves. We will look at how we, as gents, can forge a way forward to stop abuse against women. We must get down there on the ground with the people. There are men who are afraid to speak up against abuse.

“The most important thing would be to get men to come through and listen to our message. We want to say to the guys that they can be better men by stopping the raping, killing and burning of women,” Jentile said.

He also made a call to men to report abuse against women committed by fellow men.

“Don’t make criminals to be comfortable in our midst,” he said.

Tshwane metro police department spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said the city had received an application for the march and was looking into it.

Pretoria News