WATCH: Scourge of GBV highlighted at 5th Tsietsi Mashinini Memorial Lecture
Johannesburg - Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said that men are constantly implementing a special type of oppression.
Lamola on Thursday delivered the virtual 5th Tsietsi Mashinini Memorial Lecture which was used to highlight the urgent need to put a stop to the scourge of gender-based violence.
Mashinini was the leader of the June 16, 1976, Soweto uprisings in which students marched against the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in schools. He fled from apartheid security forces into exile after the uprisings and died aged 33 under mysterious circumstances in the West African country of Guinea in 1990.
“Women are sick and tired because of patriarchy which is only gradually removed in our society today. Men are constantly implementing a special type of oppression.
“What will it take for us as men to realise that this sort of thing has no place in our communities?
"You do not need any law to truly believe that women are humans and treat them like humans. Because of us men, women do not feel safe anywhere in this country,” said Lamola.
Lamola said that women’s fears were informed by heinous and fatal deeds they suffer at the hands of men and called on men to stand up and say “enough is enough and not in our name”.
“Tshegofatso Pule, a young woman, joins a list of women in our country who have died allegedly at the hands of men. The list cannot grow any longer. Our commitment as men to the performance of our masculinity will render us becoming oppressors.
“Our commitment to violence will only lead to more bloodshed. In South Africa, a lot of blood was shed for our liberation. It was women in particular who endured the harshest elements of the oppressive regime,” Lamola said.
Pule’s body was found hanged and stabbed in a veld in Roodepoort, Gauteng, last week. She was eight months pregnant and Gauteng police on Wednesday arrested a 31-year-old man for her murder.
Lamola said that it was the ultimate betrayal of the country’s liberation struggle that even in a democratic society, women wept with even greater sorrow.
“We often look at the achievements of the democratic society to understand where we are as a country. But we should also say what the biggest threat to our democracy is, it is our commitment as men to violence,” said Lamola.
He added that violence seemed to be a constant feature in South African communities.
“We have seen allegations leveled against law enforcement agencies in the case of Collin Khosa and there were many others before him, the matter must be investigated expeditiously for the family and society to find closure and for the law to take its cause,” Lamola said.
He said that the youth of today was greatly indebted to the bravery of Mashinini in confronting the tyranny of apartheid.
“His commitment to the course of total emancipation of black learners was a noble deed that all of us should emulate as we address today’s challenges besieging young people such as unemployment, poverty, exclusion at institutions of higher learning and discrimination at the workplace,” added Lamola.