MTV hosted a panel discussion called Stop The Violence - State of the People Round Table last week to give survivors a platform to share solutions for the scourge. Picture: Supplied
Johannesburg - The call to stop the violence against women and children in South Africa has been amplified since the murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was allegedly raped and killed by a post office employee last month.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has since announced a R1.1 billion emergency funds toward fighting against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and femicide. 

MTV also hosted a panel discussion called Stop The Violence - State of the People Round Table last week to give survivors a platform to share solutions for the scourge.

The panel was moderated by TV and radio personality, Masechaba Ndlovu, who is also a GBV activist. 

Actress Shoki Mmola opened up about the abuse she experienced.

“It is the sayings that do the rounds like men don’t cry, you strike a woman you strike a rock (that encourage GBV). The truth is women are not rocks and I am not a rock and I can feel pain, I bleed. We need our society to be reshaped into understanding that practices like Ukuthwala, patriarchy and gender inequality perpetuate this culture of abuse – of men feeling entitled and superior to women,” she said.

Mmola said she was abused by her former husband over a decade ago and has since been vocal about GBV.

“I feel paralysed and angry at the prevalence of the abuse. I am raising two girls and I am constantly worried and wonder what will become of my girls. Something needs to change,” she said.

Lindiwe Khoza, one of the leaders of the South African Civil Society Organisation that marched to the JSE last week, said although government’s commitment of the funds was a victory - there is still a lot to be done – especially on the ground.

“Women are angry and whilst money has been committed, they continue to die as we speak. The anger is not just about what is being done to our bodies but the non-existence of support that we desperately need in our country,” said Khoza.

The panel discussion also included singer and dancer Busisiwe "Cici" Twala, who accused her former boyfriend and manager - Arthur Mafokate of abuse, and Anna Moyo-Kupeta from The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR).

Ndlovu said there could be no talk of GBV without interrogating our origins as South Africans. She said our history, colonisation and the post apartheid era, were all part of the contributing factors.

“Before colonisation Africa had very strong family values. Apartheid, the evil and undemocratic regime, castrated our men spiritually and psychologically and family units fell away and the disintegration of our societies as we knew them. Then there was CODESA, where we negotiated for our freedom when all we should have done was to cease power, redistribute the land back to our people and repair the psychological, spiritual and cultural damage that had been done," said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu believes that the Truth Reconciliation Council (TRC), which was intended to be a restorative justice body, further diminished black people and served the interested of perpetrators and also granted them amnesty from prosecution.

“Our history tells us that some of our boyfriends and husbands were raised by these survivors of this regime and some were raised by bitter single mothers and in turn grew up to be men that hate women,” she said, adding that South Africa is in a state of emergency.

“Abusers, rapists and murderers need to know that they will be caught and punished. In the long-term we must focus on the boy child. We need to change what we teach our boy children from the foundation phase and how we raise them. We need to break the generational curses that we have inherited from our broken fathers and mothers,” she said.

The episode airs on MTV on Heritage day (24 September) at 3.50pm


Sunday Independent