Xolani Koyana

COSATU and its allies emphasised unity in fighting the scourge of rape and violence against women and children at a rally at the Grand Parade yesterday.

The rally in Cape Town, organised by Cosatu and supported by the ANC, its women’s league, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and NGO coalition Sangoco Western Cape, was in protest against rape and violence on women and children.

About 120 community members attended the rally. This follows the global media focus on the brutal rape and murder of Anene Booysen.

“This rally is about getting Cape Town to unite against rape and violence on women and children.

“This requires all of us to come together and fight this thing,” Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said.

Sheik Ebrahim Abrahams of the MJC described the rape of women and children as a “human catastrophe”.

He said: “It is a crime against society. A crime against humanity. It has to be said that it will no longer be accepted. We have to stand together and get that message across, whether you identify with the DA, ANC or Inkatha. We have to stand together as Jews, Christians and Muslims.

“We are too few here today. There should be more religious leaders coming out against this scourge.

“They have to be leading from the front line.”

He said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan should outline in detail how much would be spent to ensure the well being of vulnerable women and children when he delivers his budget speech later this month.

In her message of support, Bernadette Muthien of Sangoco said until society did away with patriarchy, the rape malady would persist.

The organisations handed a memorandum to Deputy Police Commissioner Peter Jacobs and Coceko Pakade, acting director-general at the Department of Social Development.

Pakade said he would take their issues to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, who has set up a task team to look into rape.