Cape Town - Demonstrators and participators in the #TotalShutdown march heckled Parliament's Sergeant at Arms Rigina Mohlomi and refused to allow her the opportunity to speak at the event after she told them she is accepting the memorandum on behalf of the speaker Baleka Mbete.
“I am an official from Parliament. I have been requested to come and do this today, I am not a politician and therefore if I am sent and receive this memorandum on behalf of the Speaker, that is what I am supposed to do,” Mohlomi said.
The scores of demonstrators chanted, “We want the Speaker,” while others accused the government of not caring about the safety and well-being of women in the country.
Hundreds of gender activists and members of the LGBTIQ+ community participated in the march. They took to the streets since the early hours of the morning and made their way to Parliament to hand over a 5-page memorandum to Parliament.
The organisation is demanding that Parliament form a special unit to deal with gender-based violence.
This includes the establishment of an independent ombud for gender-based violence and a specific enquiry mandate for the SA Human Rights Committee, Commission for Gender Equality and Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.
They are also demanding that the school curriculum includes content that informs pupils about gender-based violence and how to prevent it, in a bid to change attitudes.