Social Justice Coalition activists together with SANCO and churches march through Khayelitsha areas to the police station to demand assistance to end to gender-based violence. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus
Cape Town - Social Justice Coalition activists together with SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and churches marched through Khayelitsha to the police station in Site B, where they handed over a memorandum calling for an end to gender-based violence.

Addressing those gathered at the march, the chairperson of Sanco, peninsula region, Connie August, said that the aim of the march was to bring hope to the victims of gender-based violence and to urge the Justice and Security Cluster in Khayelitsha, which includes the police, prosecutors and the courts, to effectively deal with the perpetrators.

“Violence against women and children has tremendous costs to our communities, and societies for public well-being, health and safety,” said August.

“Our schools are being destroyed, because the future of our children is destroyed,” added August.

They cried unto the police commanders, saying their police officers are not working hard to help them, quoting recent incidents that happened in the areas of Khayelitsha.

The murder of Sinoxolo Mafevuka, was murdered and left in a communal toilet.

A few days after her death, a 14-year old-girl was raped, and the perpetrator is out on bail, a woman and her 2-year-old baby were attacked, the attacker raped the mother and killed the baby.

Khayelitsha cluster commander, Johan Brand received the memorandum and assured that he would do his utmost to ensure that when women reported assault such as abuse or rape they were assisted by female police officers.

“The most important thing now, is to let our people know that we want to work with them to fight gender-based violence and crime in our areas,” said Brand.

Some of the demands include recommendations implemented by the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.

These recommendations require the police to take specific measures to address domestic violence and address systemic problems with its detective services.

Second demand is that family violence, child protection and sexual offences units must operate in all three police stations in Khayelitsha.

Gender-based violence cases must be followed, not thrown out of court without proper investigation.

Visible policing in informal settlements must be prioritised.

There must be a strategic plan to defeat gender-based violence and this plan must be public.

Social Justice Coalition activists together with SANCO and churches march through Khayelitsha areas to the police station to demand assistance to end to gender-based violence. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Police officers must work with the community to defeat gender-based violence.

Social Justice Coalition member, Nontando Mhlabeni said: “The effects of violence can remain with women and children for a lifetime, and can pass from one generation to another.”

She said studies showed that children who had witnessed or been subjected to violence were more likely to become victims or abusers themselves.

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Cape Argus