School girl brutally assaulted: Minister, stop calling for action and act!

A video clip has emerged in which a school girl receives a violent kick to the head after being beaten to the floor. You can read about and watch the incident here. However, please note that the footage is graphic.

Further news reports reveal that the incident in fact took place in November of 2016. It also revealed that neither the police nor the school took any action against the alleged perpetrator. There is no situation in which this sort of violence against women can be condoned.

Where authorities are slow to act, they are complicit in this ongoing scourge. 

It’s time that South Africans become intolerant of the ongoing violence against women and children.

Read more: Education dept to take 'strongest action possible' against learner in violent KZN assault video

Women and girls are brutally attacked and yet we expect them to pick and carry on functioning in society while authorities are slow to bring perpetrators to book.

We’ve started women’s month with the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Mduduzi Manana, admitting to assaulting a woman. Following the incident, many have questioned whether he is receiving preferential treatment because he is a Cabinet Minister.

We have to ask, where does the disdain for women come from? How can we allow the violence that emanates from it to continue?

On that basis, some are asking why as serious action against him is not being taken. The Herald reports that calls for him to be fired are mounting and yet we see inaction persist. 

Are we serious about protecting women? 

The culture of abuse and intolerance of women remains despite movements like POWA, Sonke Gender Justice and others, who have been around for many years.

These movements are dedicated to educating the public and showing that violence and women abuse is wrong, yet the status quo seems to become more and more entrenched with every brutal attack.

Read more: Your child is my child - What Franziska's death must teach us

We have to ask, where does the disdain for women come from? How can we allow the violence that emanates from it to continue?

It’s time that we become strong in our approach when dealing with people who assault, abuse, rape and murder women.

- We need rapid response: the South African Police Service (SAPS) must be quick to investigate, apprehend and charge suspects.

- The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must ensure that prosecution happens as efficiently as possible.

- We must look at whether we are indeed upholding minimum sentencing standards, where someone has been found guilty of assaulting women and girls.

As it is, the wheels of justice are simply turning too slowly, if at all. 

According to a recent news report, the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini has called for harsher sentences for women abusers.

The irony is that she is a Cabinet Minister and has the power to draft a green paper, which could ultimately culminate in legislation to that effect. At the very least she could request that a member of her caucus in Parliament could submit a Private Member’s Bill to that effect.

She has no need to ‘call’ for it as she has the power to action it.

It’s time to act in defense of women and children.

The views of columnists published on W24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of W24. 

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