IFP leadership led by president Velenkosi Hlabisa march through the streets of Durban in solidarity with victims of gender-based violence. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - The IFP has thrown down the gauntlet to the government to immediately combat gender-based violence (GBV) with efficiency instead of continuing its “empty rhetoric” when addressing the spiralling scourge of violence against women and children.

Scores of supporters joined president Velenkosini Hlabisa, the IFP Women’s Brigade and the party’s provincial and national leadership structures in a march to Durban City Hall against gender based violence.

“We are calling on government to stop their empty rhetoric and to start doing what needs to be done. There is an alarming disjuncture between what our women endure and what our government does in response. Action has been wholly inadequate.

“Years ago, we were promised a national council against gender-based violence. This came to naught. Year after year, we are promised interventions, but again most of it came to naught.”

Hlabisa said they no longer wanted to hear rhetoric or outrage from the government, but wanted change. Among the IFP’s calls was for government to ensure there is a social worker in every community; to fund and expand shelter services; and the funding of NGOs which support victims of abuse.

Nonhlanhla Makhuba, Women’s Brigade deputy chairperson, called on the government to expedite a national, costed plan as the legal framework did not support and protect women.

The brigade also called on Police Minister Bheki Cele to ensure police stations and satellite stations had sufficient rape kits and for police to fast-track rape cases and to create specialised units within the SAPS that strictly handled such cases.