Protesters are calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a state of emergency a day after the country's latest crime statistics were released. Picture: AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Thousands of South African women on Friday gathered at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton to make their voices heard in protest against gender-based violence (GBV).

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They began converging as early as 3am with many dressed in black. Different T-shirts represented organisations spearheading the fight against the scourge of GBV.

Women carried placards which read: "Women don't owe you shit", "My body - not your crime scene", "She dreamed of a place where the village protected her from the wolves" and many more.

Mandisa Khanyile, director of Rise Up Against Gender-Based Violence and part of the Call for Action Group said: "We are here in Sandton today to deliver a memorandum to the CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, who has flown in specifically to actually receive our memorandum. Our key demand is a 2% levy on all JSE-listed entities to help fund the fight against gender-based violence.

"We are very happy to see that political parties did join us especially the ANC Women's League, and that they have shown solidarity with our call to bring corporates on board in the fight against gender-based violence."

Nomasomi Limako, co-founder of the One in Nine organisation, said there have been many unfruitful marches before, but believes something will come out of this one.

"We have come to say no to women abuse and killings. Enough is enough. We die everyday and this cannot happen anymore. We are fed up."

Police officers were visible. As many as 60 officers from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department have been deployed to assist with traffic control in the area, where some of the roads have been closed off.  

Earlier, African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) President Bathabile Dlamini was given a hot reception. Protesters chanted" Khwezi upon her arrival. Members of the ANCWL who arrived in their party regalia were accused of trying to hijack the march.

African News Agency/ANA