Debate on GBV, Social Ills & Criminality

 

Speech By: Hon M.B Gwala, MPL
25 September, 2019

 

Hon Speaker,

1. SOCIALS ILLS OF XENOPHOBIA

Hon Speaker, the last few weeks portrayed a terrifying image where we saw heinous violence and horrific incidences of blacks are arising against blacks which is totally unacceptable. South Africa was a warzone and its image on the continent was dealt another blow. The attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses was a violation of human rights from our Constitution which cherishes the right to freedom from all forms of violence to all.

The IFP extends sincere appreciation to IFP President Emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, MP for showing his great leadership skills when trying to suppress xenophobia in Johannesburg recently. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi showed many what it is to be a responsible and responsive leader in times of distress when many leaders were in hiding places. People needed leaders who are willing to engage them and understand their grievances while addressing the elements of looting and criminality.

It is a fact that our people are suffering from high unemployment, poverty unfair competition from foreign owned shops, employment of foreigners by many companies in the security, hospitality and logistics industries, poverty, influx of illegal immigrants engaging in illegal activities, inequality between those who have and have nots, have resulted in our people resorting to desperate measures to show their frustrations and anger towards the dysfunctionality of the government of the day. And the IFP is not condoning their acts but the CHICKENS HAVE COME HOME TO ROOST for this government which has allowed things to get out of control through corruption, fraud, bribery, dysfunctional border control, corrupt government officials in Home Affairs and law enforcement and failing to create job opportunities and protecting South Africans against unfair business practices will continue to see this government failing to control the frustration and anger from people.

IFP SOLUTIONS ON XENOPHOBIA:

To deal with Xenophobia social ills the IFP recommends that:

a) The government must urgently implement intensive campaigns that will educate every citizen to constructively engage, shape public debate and promote social cohesion through evidence – based reports. Stereotypes and elements of crime from both sides should be thoroughly dealt with. Our people need to be encouraged to tolerate, understand and embrace other cultures and ethnic groups in our country. Repeating stereotypes does not advance the goals of upholding the fundamental rights of all in society.

b) CRIME
Is a fact that crime levels in KZN have reached a state of lawlessness and demands urgent action from the government to curb the increasing rate of violent crimes including murder, car hijackings and home robbery. It begs the question if our current tactical, strategic and prevention structures are able deal with crime in this province.

SOLUTIONS TO CRIME

a) The IFP believes that the time to have an honest national dialogue around stringent measures has arrived. We want to see murder cases, robberies, car hijacking, and sexual offences in KwaZulu – Natal decreasing.

b) As the IFP in KZN, we strongly believe that the MEC of Community of Safety & Liaison and KZN government should take seriously our calls for a plan of vetting and cleaning out the Law Enforcement Unit in this province. The IFP believes that the increasing crime levels are a result of the corrupt, greedy, ethically compromised police officers who use the profession as means of getting rich faster by taking bribes in turn compromising the safety of our people.

c) We want to know when will the corrupt police involved in corruption, abuse of power, failure to act and negligence by law enforcement officials who are always in cahoots with criminals and law breakers, will be flushed out because we want to see urgent change in these crime statistics. These problems point to the dire need for a career policeman or woman who will steer at the helm of our law enforcement during these turbulent times.

d) The IFP further believes that poor gun control contributes to the high murder rate in this Province.

2. BACK TO BASICS ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

The government is vocal about going back to basics but this begs the question of when and how the government shifted from it in the first place? As the IFP we are saying this because when the opposition parties raised its concerns about this then the ruling party becomes defensive. We are faced with government of the day has inherited Dutch Laws then these laws are clashing with Indigenous Laws and tradition.

The same government is talking about African Renaissance while at the same is destroying it with the new laws some favours the criminals than the citizens. Ukufakazela lokhu izingane zisixosha ngamagontsho uma uthi uyakhuluma kuthiwa yicala. This has resulted to the deterioration of morals in the country. Gender-based violence is widely known problem perpetrated by men and community members who tolerate negative masculine practices widely in South Africa. For us as the IFP, an important point of departure is that Gender Based Violence is preventable and can be stopped. This can be achieved through a focus on the root causes of violence and on possibilities for change. Our belief is that the engagement of men and boys to challenge long-held views of masculinity that are steeped deep in patriarchy is absolutely necessary. We call on men and boys in all their diversities and from all society sectors to intensify and/or join calls for an end to gender-based violence and gender inequality.

This country needs to go back to”Ukubuthwa”; a traditional practice where young men in particular learn the code of ethics of the community from their elders, created security within the communities.

SOLUTIONS ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

1. Ending violence in our communities is a responsibility of the whole community and it is significant that men and boys are active participants and promoters of change to get rid of the current status quo.

2. On the same scale, it is also critical to combat not only the individual instances of violence, but also the systemic forms of violence, as violence does not occur in a vacuum but rather in a society that condones and encourages it.

3. Let’s cultivate new perspectives and societal behaviour that helps in the healing and regeneration process for survivors of domestic violence. Until when we are going to allow that the man who beat, rape, maim and kill continue with their identities protected? Men must be named in order to take responsibility and be accountable.

4. I think we can all agree that the time for complacency is long gone, has passed and belongs to another era. The silence on violence against women and children has been broken and now. Now is the time for stronger action.

5. When it comes to the prosecution of offenders, we know that ending impunity means that laws must be enforced.

6. Women must have access to the police to file a criminal report and receive legal advice and protection orders. The response to violence must be immediate, coordinated and effective so that crimes are punished and justice is secured.

7. Courts and the justice system must be accessible and responsive to criminal and civil matters relating to violence against women. Women must be informed of their legal rights and supported to navigate the legal system.

8. And for this, we need more women police officers, prosecutors and judges, because we know that women serving on the frontlines of justice strengthen justice for women and children.

9. Traditional Leaders on Crime and Gender Based Violence

Traditional Leaders are influential in most rural communities and play a key role in advocating and driving social mobilisation initiatives that address various issues.

a) It is therefore recommended that the institutional capacity of the Traditional Authority be improved through partnerships with all various stakeholders. But the problem is that Traditional Leaders have no platform to raise issues as government has trampled on them

b) As leaders in our communities, we urge traditional leaders to speak out against societal challenges such as GBV, crime, teenage pregnancies as well as alcohol and drug abuse.

c) In the spirit of mass mobilization, it is crucial that government,traditional leadership institutions, civil society formations and communities work together to build a moral and ethical society.

10. GBV IN WORK PLACE

Hon Speaker, we call upon the government to enforce laws that will require that every employee is vetted and screened thoroughly in workplace both in public and private sector. Many women suffer sexual abuse under the hands of employers, colleagues and male bosses.

1. In tackling sexual exploitation in workplace, the first step in addressing sexual harassment is by promoting workplace culture to one that promotes respect, equity, and civility.

2. Amend laws and policies to protect women in their places of work. Gender sensitising should be rolled out national to every man but mostly, police, magistrates and prosecutors and in every organisation.

3. We want to see the Emergency Action Plan being rolled out immediately because this is a 365-day crisis that this country is facing. It is time for government to give assurance to women that life sentences to perpetrators will mean end to their lives.

4. The IFP call on government to take measures to ensure that all workplaces are free from discrimination and exploitation, violence, and sexual harassment and bullying, and that they address discrimination and violence against women and girls, as appropriate, through measures such as regulatory and oversight frameworks and reforms, collective agreements, codes of conduct, including appropriate disciplinary measures, protocols and procedures, referral of cases of violence to health services for treatment and police for investigation; as well as through awareness-raising and capacity-building, in collaboration with employers, unions and workers, including workplace services and flexibility for victims and survivors.

GBV IN SCHOOLS

We commend the move to include GBV awareness in the School curriculum under Life orientation. However, the IFP is expressing grave concern over the fact that some teachers are “exhibiting predatory sexual behaviour” towards children in schools and that other members of staff are choosing to cover it up thereby promoting sexual grooming. We are seeing teaching professionals who are reported as actually engaging in physical, sexual contact with their students. We emphasize that government must be flushed out in schools and be blacklisted.

CONCLUSION

The IFP urges the nation to work harder to ensure violent crimes, hate and violence against Africans, women, children and the vulnerable groups is dealt with. It is high time now to stop rhetoric on these types of violence but only practical solutions are needed to eradicate these sick acts. Perpetrators of these crimes need to receive strong and unequivocal message from the community and justice system.

The police are also losing the battle against gender-based violence, violent crimes, and they need to work hard to recapture their credibility and public trust. This will be achieved by being responsive to the concerns of the communities and remove those who are corrupt among them.

Ngiyathokoza