KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala vows to tackle gender-based violence
Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has revealed that KwaZulu-Natal government will next month hold a multi-stakeholder summit to discuss ways of combating escalating attacks on women and children.
Speaking to the media on Thursday morning before unveiling a radical plan to end violence against women and children at Curries Fountain stadium in Durban, Zikalala said the government understood that there was growing anger and frustration among communities and leaders with the continuing of gender-based attacks.
The event, which included a march to Gugu Dlamini Park in the CBD, was to protest a series of rapes and killings of women and children in the province.
The park where the march will end with prayers and speeches was named after Gugu Dlamini who was stabbed and stoned to death by a group of young men in KwaMashu, north of Durban in 1998 after she had revealed her HIV/Aids status.
Recently there had been a call for the reinstatement of the death sentence, and King Goodwill Zwelithini had earlier this week during Umkhosi Welembe called for castration of rapists. Zikalala said this was a sign that people were angry at these crimes against women and children.
"It is the anger that we understand, but we need to discuss those issues.
"We understand the point that we cannot have the issue of human rights of people who are perpetrators at the expense of those who are victims," he said.
He said the province would hold the summit in October "and we will be issuing the date sooner".
He said the event at Curries Fountain, which was attended by among others students from various universities, religious organisations, traditional leaders, community safety and liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli and eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda was part of a process to revamp law enforcement to ensure that the cases are dealt with swiftly.
"We want to ensure that justice system gives harsher sentences," said Zikalala.