Friday Briefing | Will it ever end? 7 women interrogate gender-based violence and the 'war against women'

Friday Briefing

An unjust war

On Wednesday night President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke to the nation in a live televised address. The address was specifically arranged to announce the easing of lockdown regulations to allow more economic activity to resume. But the moment, however big for many South Africans with businesses and jobs that have been on hold for the past almost three months, was stolen by the senseless murder of another young woman.

Reported missing two weeks ago, Tshegofatso Pule's mutilated body was found hanging from a tree days later. She was eight months pregnant.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I stand before the women and girls of South Africa this evening to talk about another pandemic that is raging in our country – the killing of women and children by the men of our country," the president said.

"As a man, as a husband and as a father, I am appalled at what is no less than a war being waged against the women and children of our country."

This week in Friday Briefing, we dive into some of the struggles women face in this ongoing war, in an attempt to shed light on an issue that is crippling our society. As Nomvelo Chalumbira writes, "It's no longer a question of Am I Next? But rather, when am I next?" It is a matter that demands interrogation and forces us to take a hard look in the mirror to answer the question, "will it ever end?"

Alet Law

Newsletter and engagement editor

PS. Some of the stories in this compilation could be triggering for those who have had traumatic experiences related to gender-based violence in the past.


Femicide fatigue amidst a femicide pandemic

For 20 years, I’ve known about and seen femicide. Will it take another two decades before it all ends – or even just decreases.

By Phontso Pilane

Tshegofatso Pule is not the first, and certainly won't be the last

We need commitment to saving the lives of women, children and unborn infants with the same vigour, intensity and perseverance that is applied to fighting the coronavirus.

By Lauren Klaassen

Tshegofatso Pule's killer is probably not a monster, and it's terrifying

The psychopath in the dead of night is mostly a myth in South Africa, according to research.

By Sarah Evans

Many women are stuck at home with their potential murderers during lockdown

Hashtags, slogans, summits, activism and protests have not helped to keep women safe. Our government and society are crippled by an inability to protect women.

By Nthabi Nhlapo

I'm an angry black woman and I am tired

I have vowed to speak up, for myself, for Uyinene, for Tshegofatso, Anene and all the other women who can no longer say: "It happened to me too."

By Cebelihle Mthethwa 

It's no longer a question of Am I Next? But rather, when am I next?

I am beginning to wonder how it’s going to happen to me. Will I be gang-raped by a group of deranged beasts on my way to my car?

By Nomvelo Chalumbira

Make me numb, Nelson

We are horrified, we condemn, we protest. We chant "government must step in"; we call on men to call each other out. We protest some more, we bury, we move on.

By Bombeleni Mavundza

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