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Ramaphosa to sign in GBV laws

President Cyril Ramaphosa answers members' questions in the NCOP. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

President Cyril Ramaphosa answers members' questions in the NCOP. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

Published Sep 11, 2021


Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

MPs have called for the proper implementation of laws dealing with gender-based violence after Parliament yesterday adopted two Bills aimed to clamp down on violence against women and children.

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The adoption comes after months of work by members of the justice committee and yesterday some of the laws were referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa for assent and others to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

The Bills were introduced in 2018 when the spate of gender-based violence cases hit the country.

The Domestic Violence Bill and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Bill have been sent to Ramaphosa.

In the recent crime statistics released by Police Minister Bheki Cele, it showed that more than 10 000 women were raped in the country in three months.

MPs said yesterday the government must implement the GBV Bills after they were passed by the National Assembly.

Chairperson of the justice committee Bulelani Magwanishe said these were important laws in the fight against gender-based violence.

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DA MP Werner Horn said they want the Bills to be implemented to deal with the scourge of GBV in the country.

“Enough has been said about the cancerous effect violence, gender-based violence and domestic violence have on victims and our national psyche and well-being. It is good that this Parliament acted in a responsive way with unison towards improving the legislation that assists law enforcement agencies, social services and other stakeholders in the justice system to help victims more effectively,” said Horn.

“While we therefore support these Bills wholeheartedly, it remains so that we must as the oversight body of the Executive be obsessive in our oversight going forward about implementation. Otherwise the adoption of these Bills will be nothing but an academic exercise,” said Horn.

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EFF MP Yoliswa Yako said for years the country has been plagued by the scourge of GBV and the new laws must fight it.

She said those who were attacking women and children have been brazen in their attacks.

The law must clamp down on people involved in GBV.

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“For years South Africa has been plagued by the rise of gender-based violence and sexual crimes mostly perpetrated against women, children and those living with disabilities,” said Yako.

It was time the laws were fully implemented to deal with the perpetrators.

IFP MP Zandile Majozi said the adoption of the GBV Bills will strengthen the hand of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies.

She said the recently released crime statistics by Cele showed sexual offences were on the increase in the country.

Majozi said GBV laws would protect victims of this scourge.

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