Tamsyn Allison comforts Reverend June Major
Picture: Se-Anne Rall
Tamsyn Allison comforts Reverend June Major Picture: Se-Anne Rall
A group of women holding up placards 
Picture: Se-Anne Rall
A group of women holding up placards Picture: Se-Anne Rall
Some of the placards
Picture: Se-Anne Rall
Some of the placards Picture: Se-Anne Rall

Durban - Emotional scenes played out at a vigil hosted at the Durban City Hall in remembrance of slain UCT student, Uyinene Mrwetyana, on Tuesday.

Armed with placards all calling for an end to femicide and gender-based violence, women from all walks of life gathered to remember Mrwetyana and the scores of other women and children who lost their lives through femicide and gender based violence. 

A group of women holding up placards Picture: Se-Anne Rall
Some of the placards Picture: Se-Anne Rall


Mrwetyana's death sent shockwaves through communities around the country, after a 42-year-old man confessed to murdering the 19-year-old woman. 

He then led police to an area in Khayelitsha, where he had reportedly dumped her body. 

“When there is a crisis in our society we must react and respond. So much activism on gender based violence goes down the drain when one more child or woman is raped or murdered,” said event coordinator, Kiru Naidoo. 

Naidoo said boys and men need to learn that toying with violence will bring harsh consequences. 

“Too few men speak up and too many murder. We are in a dangerous spiral that demands even more organising, conscientising and mobilising,” Naidoo said. 

City official, Eric Apelgren, said the student's murder was a jolt of reality for him and his family as his daughter attended the UCT. 

City official, Eric Apelgren addressing the gathering Video: Se-Anne Rall


He called on men to stand up and speak out against the abuse of women and children. 

Reverend June Major, a rape survivor, shared her story of how she was raped by a priest. 

Tamsyn Allison comforts Reverend June Major Picture: Se-Anne Rall


Major said enough was enough and there needed to be a concerted effort to remove rapists from society. 

Activist, Tamsyn Allison, bore the names of women and children who were recently murdered on her upper body. 

Allison addressed the crowd, calling for all women to unite. She said it was time that men took responsibility for their actions. 

Various civil groups were also in attendance to pledge their support for the call to end violence against women and children.

Acting Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Ravi Pillay, has called on all people of KwaZulu-Natal to form a united front to combat gender-based violence.

"The provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal is deeply saddened by these crimes. This scourge enjoins all of us to play our part to ensure that we put a stop to these dastardly acts. It is our collective responsibility to work together to put a stop to these crimes targeting women and girls who are among the most vulnerable members of society," he said. 

The crowd sang the SA national anthem as they officially started the event. Video: Se-Anne Rall


The Mercury