No to abuse: women cops on long walk

2009-11-26 00:00

THE face of KZN’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children will be a band of 10 policewomen who set off yesterday on a 600 km walk from Estcourt to Port Shepstone. So said KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize at the official launch of the campaign. Traffic in the small midlands town came to a standstill as a crowd led by Mkhize saw the 10 women off.

The premier said that to fight evil it just needs a few brave people to stand up. He commended the walkers, who will be raising awareness of abuse as the province’s champions of the No Violence campaign.

Mkhize thanked the large complement of police present for their hard work and dedication. “The fact that KwaZulu-Natal is a peaceful province is largely due to the efforts of the police. Our support for you is unconditional and I hope that will give you confidence to deal with crime as effectively as is necessary.”

The premier said the fight against violence in South African society will end only if everyone stands up in their villages, communities and homes against rape and the abuse of women and children.

He told men to pay maintenance and not put their families through the humiliation of having to go to the courts to force them to pay for the upkeep of their children. He noted that women who are attacked by their partners and who lay charges against them are often pressurised by the family to go back to the police station to withdraw the cases.

Mkhize expressed concern over increasing drug and alcohol abuse and the link between substance abuse and violence. He said it is of serious concern that youngsters are getting destroyed at an age when they should be moulded.

“Drug peddlars are known by communities, they wear nice clothes and gold chains and become role models to our children. We need to put an end to this and to do so we need the support of our religious and traditional leaders,” he added.

He referred to a study done in mortuaries where bodies are sampled for their alcohol levels. “There were such high levels of alcohol it was quite frightening. Alcohol is destroying our nation,” he said.

 

The 10 walkers will arrive in Port Shepstone on December 10. En route they will pass through Colenso, Ladysmith, Elandslaagte, Dundee, Nquthu, Babanango, Melmoth, Eshowe, Stanger, Ballito, Durban, Amanzimtoti, Scottburgh and Hibberdene.

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