We are in a crisis, no one is safe – Shabangu on abuse against women

2017-05-26 16:34
Susan Shabangu (Beeld)

Susan Shabangu (Beeld)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

WATCH: Soweto residents stand up against women abuse

2017-05-26 12:16

South Africans gathered outside the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus to stand up against gender-based violence on Friday morning. WATCH

Johannesburg - Women no longer feel safe in SA and unless communities come together to protect one another, the scourge against women will continue, Minister of Women Susan Shabangu said on Friday.

Speaking at Regina Mundi Church in Soweto following a #NotInMyName march led by men, Shabangu told those gathered at the church that they needed to act as a community, and not live in their individual silos.

"We need to be a community, we need to care. The scourge we are facing is getting worse, South Africa is under siege. There is evil. There is a devil who is here in South Africa. We are in a crisis and no one is safe."

Shabangu said gender-based violence would not be solved by women alone and encouraged the men who had marched to go out and encourage their friends to join the #NotInMyName campaign to ensure that it had the desired effect.

She also encouraged men to be more involved and to take part in the annual campaign of 16 days of activism for violence against women and children.

'It cuts you'

As a mother, one could not help but feel the pain of others as news of more girls being found dead surfaced, she said.

"As a mother, it cuts you - even if it isn't your own daughter - hearing about all this cuts you. So you have to, as a parent, stand up and do something.

"If it hasn't reached you yet, fight it. Let's hold hands. Let's change our attitudes; let's care; let's have humanity. Stand up so it doesn't get to you," she said.

More than a hundred people took to Chris Hani Road on Friday morning, alongside Shabangu, government officials and religious leaders to march against the abuse of women and children.

Marchers with the messages "Respect Us!!! #ItsThatSimple", "WHY?", "Stop killing us" and "Love us don't kill us" were held up high as they marched and sang their way to the church.

One of the men who had decided to join the march was 34-year-old Molapo resident Floyd Mehlomakhulu.

He was marching to prove to women in Soweto that not all men were the same.

"We've had enough with people who are terrorising our women," he told News24.

'Cowards'

He said it did not sit well with him that women felt afraid of men, especially since he worked with them in his dreadlock hair care business.

"I work with women mostly, and even when I try to approach them they back away and get scared and ask me: 'What do you want?' It affects us men in many ways and makes us scared of approaching them, even when it's just about work."

As a result, he had decided to bring his colleagues along, to show women in the society that they supported their calls for an end to the violence. He wanted the arm of the law to be harsher when it came to perpetrators.

"I want the law to tighten its grip on them. As a woman, you have carried me for nine months; you gave me life so why would I terrorise you?

"That's the problem I have with men: We are cowards; we can no longer speak for ourselves; we turn to violence. Please let's stop this," he said.

Another man who had decided to join the march, former Generations actor Mangaliso Ngema said one thing men needed to admit was that they were not as good at talking about their problems, as women were. This needed to change, he said.

"When we as men get together we always talk about everything, but the things that are important in our lives. Men are suffering because men do not talk, we do not share our problems with one another."

Restraining order

He encouraged men to start forming groups where they could meet and discuss their problems with their peers in a safe and comfortable space, to try and resolve the underlying factors which could be leading to acts of violence.

"Because what we are doing is not in our culture. African men respect their women," he said.

In 2014, Channel24 reported that Ngema's estranged wife obtained a restraining order amid claims of physical abuse. The matter went to court but it was not immediately clear what the outcome of the case was.

Nontsika Kwinana, 21, from Dube had joined the march to make sure she was counted as one of many women in Soweto who had had enough with the spate of violence against women and children.

"It's too much. Women and children are being killed every day. Enough is enough; we have to stand up because we don't know who is next; so we have to stop whatever is going on because it is getting out of control."

Seeing men leading the march was encouraging, she said.

Read more on:    susan shabangu  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  gender rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.