People march to ‘reclaim the night’ in Durban danger area

2013-08-26 00:00

FOR women and children, the roads surrounding Durban’s Albert Park are no-go areas, where the fear of being mugged or sexually molested is all too real.

On Friday night, hundreds of women, children and men marched through the area at night in a show of support to those who had been victims of crime in the area.

Bearing banners, their aim was to “reclaim the night” from not only the social ills that were harming people, but also to send out a message to the criminals who prey on innocents.

The march — led by KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Weziwe Thusi and Minister for Social Development Bathabile Dlamini — started from Durban’s Albert Park and ended at Pastor Vusi Dube’s eThekwini Community Church (ECC).

Dlamini said drugs had far-reaching effects. She was shocked to find evidence of this on a recent visit to Brazil.

The minister was in the South American country to fetch two children whose drug-mule mothers were locked up in a Brazilian jail.

“What scared me is that there are girls from Nquthu and Mkhambathini who have been recruited for drug trafficking.

“We saw many girls from South Africa and we begged them to come home with us, but some ran away,” the minister said.

Dlamini told scores of women who had gathered at the church that it was hard to break away from the illegal drug trade if you are already heavily involved.

Those who wanted to break free often found their families’ lives being threatened.

Dlamini also asked those gathered to play their part in the reporting of sexual abuse against women and children.

She said she had started talking openly to her 10-year-old daughter about sex.

She also advised women to speak out against abuse.

“Abuse can happen in the bedroom.

“It’s time to stand up and women must lead the way,” she said.

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