'Stop talking, start acting on GBV, femicide'
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Cape Town - Four women have been killed in what anti-gender-based violence activists have described as a sad Women's Month in the city.
Cynthia Doubell, 93, from Bellville South was the first victim – the elderly woman was raped and killed on the first day of August.
This was followed by the discovery of Siphokazi Kubili’s disembowelled body in Browns Farm, Philippi, while Nozipho Singatha, 27, from Samora Machel was stabbed to death by her former boyfriend.
On Sunday the charred remains of a woman was discovered in Khayelitsha.
Taking stock of Women's Month, which is ending today, the activists called for the speedy establishment of the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NCGBVF) as per the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP-GBVF).
Legal Drafter of the Post Office to Parliament Task Team, Sarah Sydenham, said currently there was no executive body dedicated to fighting GBV.
“The promises made to us in 2019 are completely empty until someone is tasked with actually implementing the NSP-GBV and Femicide.
“The National Strategic Plan itself is brilliant but almost no progress has been made and it appears that South Africans have been left in the lurch once again.
“Again, the NSP is an excellent document that spans multiple sectors of government. It could really bring about tangible change for millions of vulnerable people in this country but without the NCGBVF none of that is going to happen,” she said.
Bishop Lavis Action Community spokesperson Amanda Davids said the state had shamelessly failed women and with the death toll rising there was a need for a change in laws.
“None of these women had to die if our laws really protected women. We demand that the current backlog in evidence be addressed with immediate effect as these criminal elements are let loose on already suffering working class communities who face all sorts of socio-economic hardships as it is.
“The blatant ineptitude of our law officers, and NPA, especially should be addressed with the provision of proper training in the handling of such crimes,” said Davids.
Great People of South Africa chairperson Zintle Khobeni called for the establishment of a steering committee to investigate the possible amendment of Section 11 of the Constitution.
“We already have the NSP on GBVF and we can continue to establish as many councils and platforms of engagement as we wish but without realistic and harsher consequences – such as the death penalty for perpetrators – we are bound to continue witnessing such gruesome incidents of violence against women, children and the queer community.
“We demand that capital punishment be reinstated to deal with perpetrators of these violent, heinous crimes,” she said.
Department of Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz’s spokesperson Wade Seale said the department's role was to see how it can work with the police to improve the quality of the service being offered to the community.
Seale said this ranged from small, service-related issues such as victims being interviewed in private, to the work of the Court Watching Brief unit.