Calls grow for harsher sentences for GBV and femicide perpetrators
Durban - Some parties have called for the death penalty and chemical castration as tough measures to clamp down on gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
The parties were reacting to a growing number of GBVF cases that had been reported since the start of Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year. The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) in KwaZulu-Natal said in a statement that two women were recently raped and killed in the province.
The party said one of the victims, Nelisiwe Dube from Umzumbe in the Lower South Coast, went missing and was later found to have been allegedly raped, killed and dumped in a sugar cane field.
It said another one was seven-month pregnant Zandile Xulu from Vryheid, who was also allegedly repeatedly raped and killed by her brother who was out on parole.
However, police could not confirm the two incidents.
While the UDM had called for a referendum on the death penalty, the ANCWL had called for perpetrators to be subjected to chemical castration and also denied parole.
“We are saying that if the ANC believes that it is still representing the will of the people, let the voice of the people be heard. Let people say whether or not the death penalty must be reintroduced. The death penalty can be a deterrence because whatever punishment or sentences that are being meted out against perpetrators are not helping,” said UDM secretary-general Bongani Msomi.
The ANCWL issued a statement calling for the government to declare a state of emergency on gender-based violence and “for the government to perform chemical castration and deny parole to perpetrators” due to the continued reports of rape and brutal killings of women.
“We're angry and disturbed by these continuous reports of gender-based violence. We urge the government to take a closer look at this scourge and deal with it as a national disaster,” said ANCWL provincial secretary Nonhlanhla Gabela.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the government had adopted various IFP interventions and proposals to fight GBVF. But he did not reveal those party proposals.
“However, more needs to be done to re-educate our young boys, deploy a social worker in every ward, in every community, and to financially support NGOs and institutions who take care and provide shelter for abused women and children,” he said.
DA MP Nazley Sharif called for a relook at policies that might be hindering justice organs from making an impact against GBV.
“There must be harsher sentences for those convicted and sentenced for any crime relating to GBVF. Too often, these perpetrators are repeat offenders, and letting them back in society puts women directly at risk. We have seen too many examples of this, and we are tired!” said Sharif.
Sharif said the DA national caucus had set up a GBVF team to research interventions that could be done and make recommendations to various portfolio committees.