WATCH: Cele calls on men to protect women and fight gender-based violence
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Police Minister Bheki Cele on Saturday said that if gender-based violence is claimed to be a “second pandemic”, it should be treated as such, adding that men must also play their role in addressing this scourge.
“Maybe the time has come for us to stop calling women to these imbizos. Maybe the time has come for men to answer because it is them and their sons,” Cele said.
He was addressing the community of Nyanga on Saturday during the imbizo focusing on crime issues in the area.
Cele said the continued refusal to assist victims in need could cost them their lives and further called on men to stop harassing women as a result of the clothes they wear.
“It is not your business how short her skirt is. Women have the right to dress as they want. Don’t tell us about short skirts because you (men) are not a fashion advisor,” said Cele.
“These women have rights.”
Police Minister Bheki Cele on Saturday said men must play their part in addressing the scourge of gender-based violence and protecting women. VIDEO: Tarryn-Leigh Solomons/IOL Politics
Activists and community members kicked off the engagement by raising their concerns which include the way police handle cases and the lack of confidence some have in police.
Equal Rights Forum’s gender activist Thulani Pike said victims, in their vulnerable state, should not be turned away when visiting their nearest police station.
“GBV is very rife and very serious. Police are not doing enough. There is a lack of resources to deal with GBV in the community.
“People don’t have the money and resources and money to travel from one police to the next to report cases,” Pike added.
Ward 38 councillor, Luvuyo Zondani said GBV affects everyone, not only women.
Men in the LGBTQ community, the youth and disabled individuals are also very vulnerable, he said.
“We’ve lost many of our gay community as a result of GBV.”
Cele said people are raped by those known to them, in places where they feel safe.
This, Cele said, often happens in the still of the night.
“In the middle of the night you are raped by the man who is supposed to protect you, police are not there.
“We must fight the scourge in the middle of the night, during the day in our own houses, in our own bedrooms, in the churches, during school time … everywhere we find the problem of GBV, we must rise and say no,” Cele emphasised.
On crime issues, Cele said communities, the community policing forums and police must work together to fight crime.
He noted that Nyanga is no longer the area with highest crime rate, and this, Cele said, is as a result of the efforts of communities, CPF and police.