‘If we can mobilise people to vote we can mobilise them to stop rape’

The EFF has called for a national march against violence against women and children.Picture: Ian Carbutt
The EFF has called for a national march against violence against women and children.Picture: Ian Carbutt

The Economic Freedom Fighters has called for a national day of action against patriarchal violence and rape, saying that violence against women has become normalised.

The party said that it could not “be business as usual” in South Africa, and it would consult political parties and civil society groups on a date for demonstrations.

This follows an increase in reports of sexual violence, kidnappings and murders, particularly on social media, over the past week. Reports of women being gang-raped in public spaces, being killed and burnt to death by men close to them as well as missing children have dominated news.

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“The recent reports in media about the violence, brutal murder, rape and gang rape of women are not explosive or exceptional. They speak to the everyday experiences of women in our country, both in the hands of strangers and loved ones,” the party said.

“A society where a pregnant woman gets gang-raped by 11 men on the Nelson Mandela bridge is one where violence and hatred against women has become the norm. Only in a society where rape and violence against women does not get punished do such barbaric acts become normalised.”

The National Prosecuting Authority reported two days ago that 19 children were killed in the Western Cape alone since January of this year.

The statistics emerged on Wednesday during the first appearance of murder-accused Mortimer Saunders. The 40-year-old has been accused of killing 3-year-old Courtney Pieters.

Read: Nothing will bring Courtney back – Fikile MbalulaSaunders rents a room in the Pieters’ home.

Her body was found in a shallow grave. The court heard on Wednesday that the toddler had been raped twice before being killed.

The EFF said that it was the complicity of men and police that had normalised the violence against women,

“We call on a national day of action against patriarchal violence and rape in our country. We call on political parties and civil society to unite and declare mass demonstrations to demand a society free of patriarchal violence.

“If we can mobilise society to vote in elections, or for the removal of sitting government officials like mayors and the president, or for service delivery, or for better wages, surely it must be easy to do so in protection of women.”

City Press is conducting an anonymous survey on sexual assault and violence, and would really like to hear from men. Please help us out by participating here.

S'thembile Cele
City Press
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