On 3 May, former Miss SA Teen 2006 and broadcasting darling Zizo Tshwete posted a rather racy image on Instagram that caught my attention, almost bringing me to tears. In the image that garnered massive social media support from her almost 800 000 followers, she wears a very flattering piece of black lace lingerie. I immediately touch base with the TRUELOVE team: “Guys, have you seen Zizo’s latest post?”
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Every response made it clear that she had opened up a can of worms, stirring a heated conversation among her surprised fans and colleagues who probably had a lot more to say than they had let on with their safer option of likes and emojis.
If you haven’t seen the post yet, it relays the story of a young Zizo who had been sexually violated on three different occasions – her innocence stripped away by men she had encountered growing up. She laid bare her vulnerability, speaking about how she carried that pain for a long time.
During that moment, she also became the voice of the many survivors of sexual molestation and physical abuse who continue to have their cries silenced or slip through the cracks of our shoddy judicial system.
Statistics show that over 2 300 calls or complaints had been reported since the national lockdown on 27 March, and that by the end of that month, only 148 suspects had been arrested and charged – less than 10% of the reported cases.