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Fight against gender-based violence, femicide gains momentum

Gender-based violence survivor Zinhle Mnyaka lights a candle during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism campaign in Hammanskraal. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Gender-based violence survivor Zinhle Mnyaka lights a candle during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism campaign in Hammanskraal. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Nov 26, 2021


Betty Moleya

Pretoria - MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko yesterday encouraged women to tell their boy children not to abuse their partners and spouses.

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“They should also not abuse their daughters-in-law,” said Mazibuko.

The MEC said most perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide were aged 18 to 35 (65% of the perpetrators).

Mazibuko was addressing hundreds of people yesterday who attended an event to raise awareness of GBV, among them, pastors, survivors, organisations, police and metro officials.

The event, to launch the 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, was held at Temba Stadium in Hammanskraal.

Speaking at the event, a representative of Tsoga Mosadi in Mabopane said land should be made available for NPOs to establish shelters.

“There is a shortage of shelters. We need to offer skills to survivors.

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"We need the land to do farming to provide income for victims and to offer them skills, counsel victims too, but some do not come for counselling because they are scared of losing their income, which is their oppressors,” he said.

TJ Masilela, chairperson of the provincial community police forum (CPF) board, said there should be harsher sentences for perpetrators of these crimes.

Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mawela said rape, malicious damage to property and robbery in Hammanskraal topped the crime statistics in the area.

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He thanked the CPF in the area and those who help combat crime in the area.

“We have a serious problem of degeneration and I am calling upon residents of Hammanskraal not to support events that undermine or are dehumanising them, including the Mavuso sex stokvel, where women are treated like animals for auction,” he said.

Mawela said they would continue with crime awareness and be the first to visit schools when they reopen, to educate pupils about survival skills and empower them not to be bullied.

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He also encouraged them to talk about their situations at home.

Meanwhile, three survivors who walked out of abusive relationships lit candles for survivors and victims at the event.

Nokuthula Jogazi, who went to Mali Martin safehouse for victims, said she had been empowered and counselled at the facility.

“I am a much different person from when I arrived at the safehouse, I now have skills.”

She encouraged women who were abused to get out as there were organisations that would help.

“As much as it is scary to get out of an abusive relationship, once you get out it is a new life,” said Jogazi.

Ntsiki Matseke, who left her abusive marriage, said her husband abused her emotionally and economically.

“He did not want me to work or have a social life. I was in a very dark place. As a pastor, I prayed about it and asked God for guidance.

“That is when I decided to search for where to get help, and I called a helpline and was referred to Mali Martin Shelter,” said Matseke.

“They helped me to stand on my feet. I reconnected with myself and revived my independence. I am healed,” she said.

Zinhle Mnyaka, who is housed by A Re Ageng shelter, left with her two children after a 15-year abusive relationship.

“I lost weight, but I am gaining it back. The shelter showed me that all is not lost. To the youth: when you are not working, do not depend on a man. Stand on your own,” said Mnyaka.

Pretoria News