Demand for judiciary to address women, children, people with disabilities and LGBTQIA+ murders
Cape Town - Members of the Western Cape ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), gender and LGBTQIA+ activists handed over a memorandum of grievances linked to gender-based violence to Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. They have demanded action.
Led by the ANCWL provincial convener Belinda Landingwe and provincial co-ordinator Lulama Jelele, the group said the memorandum which they wanted passed on to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for action, was one way they were marking 16 days of No Violence against Women and Children under the theme: Generation Equality.
Reading the memorandum, Landingwe said: “Women continue to be at the bottom of the ladder in all sections of the society, particularly in the public and private sectors.
“The judiciary, particularly the Constitutional Court, is supposed to be the last hope for its citizens. Our challenge is that many women and the poor have lost confidence in the system, including the judiciary due to the way the cases of violence against women and children have been handled.
“One of the salient areas of that degeneration of positive values are the gruesome killings of women, children, people with disabilities and LGBTQIA+ communities.
“Women must rise in the ranks of the justice system. We call for the de-racialisation and decolonisation of the justice system and the judiciary… towards a transformed judicial system with capacity to enhance equality and defend the rights of the minorities and women.”
Responding to the memorandum, Judge Hlophe said: “I believe the concerns expressed are valid, but all stakeholders have a very important role to play. The femicide rate in South Africa is shocking. It is over 20% higher than in the rest of the world.
“The judges themselves need to be sensitised and that is why for instance in femicide matters I have as far as possible tried to allocate women judges to hear the cases.”