KZN LEGISLATURE DEBATE ON THE REPORT OF 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE

 

HON MNTOMUHLE B KHAWULA – IFP (MPL)

 

Hon Speaker

When we were growing up, we would occasionally be schooled in informal community programmes that if you want to start war with an African, especially the Zulus, you dare touch one of the three precious areas. The first area is if you dare touch land, to an African you have declared war. The second one is if you dare touch livestock, which is African economy, you have declared war. The third one is if you dare touch women and children, to an African you have declared war.

This is to emphasize the importance and high value of women and children to an African male. During the times of the teachings of Ubuntu/Botho in our schools, these values were part of the content and curriculum. The culture of respect, recognition of community inputs in one’s upbringing has always been an embodiment of one’s growing up in African societies. The ethos that a child is a child of the community was not just a saying, but was practically so even in deeds. But what is it that has so suddenly gone wrong towards these values.

Our society has become sick especially in the circles of some men. Moral decay has reached the bottom of levels that one could ever imagine. The statistics of these offences show a very saddening picture of South Africa so far in failure to protect women and children. Nationally, Police have recorded 177 620 crimes against women in the 2018/2019 financial year. The sexual offences cases for 2018 were 49 991 and are currently standing at 52 314 even before the year 2019 ends. The past decade alone 2009 to 2019 recorded a whole 443 387 rape cases in the country. KZN is second in the country in the list of sexual offences cases behind Gauteng. But Inanda in KZN topped police stations in the country with worse records of sexual crime, again with worse cases of rape, with Umlazi and Empangeni taking second and third sports respectively. The country further recorded an increase in the figure of sexual offences against children, and an increase in cases of children abuse.

This is a brief outline of how bad the situation is in our country and in our province. Whilst launching the sixteen days of activism on no violence against women and children in Limpopo yesterday, the State President conceded that our country has failed the women and children of our country in passing the appropriate laws to protect them. The President conceded that the laws of the country need to change so that perpetrators get sentences appropriate to the crimes committed. The President also admitted that no bail needs to apply to perpetrators of rape crimes. Whilst the IFP welcomes these steps, questions need to be asked about how many Uyinenes have had to die before these strict measures are conceded to by the ruling party. Why has it taken the present government a whooping 25 years in power before realising the weaknesses in the laws of our country in the area of protection of women and children. The women and children of our country who became fatal victims of these hideous crimes all these years can no longer be brought back to life, unfortunately, whilst there could have been measures timely exercised to effect strict deterrence. The NDP of our country aims to provide a state by ….. where people feel safe and secure. At this rate, our country is far from achieving this objective.

The IFP affirms that as responsible citizens of our country, we all need to take a stand and active action to ensure proper protection of our women and children. But the government of our country and our province needs to take the lead as the custodian of our laws and its implementation. In this regard, the IFP proposes that this house should take a resolution that at the State of the Province addresses each year, the sitting Premier should declare all the 365 days of the year in the province as days of activism on no violence against women and children in our province instead of only the sixteen days acknowledged so far. In this regard, the IFP further proposes that the house should resolve to task the Hon MEC for Finance in our Province to ensure that proper funding gets allocated to the Department of Social Development so that the Department can properly lead these campaigns throughout the year. We have been mourning and launching and declaring for the past whatever years. The IFP now calls for government visible actions to fight these evils. The Safety and Security Institutions also need to be properly resourced for them to can be able to fight the abuse of women and children accordingly. There must be proper personnel, proper facilities and proper resources in the Institutions of our government to make the fight effective. Police stations and health institutions are the first places of call in instances when these crimes take place. But sometimes the attitudes of some of the faces at the first places of call make it difficult for the victims to feel like proceeding with proper channels leading to effective convictions. It is the responsibility of the caring government of the day to ensure correction of these gaps.

Some of the perpetrators make culture and tradition the scapegoat of their twisted thinking. Traditional leaders, Traditional Healers and all South Africans of goodwill must join hands to distance culture and tradition from the evil deeds of criminals who want to hide behind culture and tradition, thus tainting it and giving it a bad name. Women and children of our country also have rights guaranteed by the constitution of our country. The IFP calls upon the women and children of our country, and all other citizens who suffer abusive violence in difference forms, to break the silence and not tolerate the intolerable. As the President of our party, the Hon VF Hlabisa pledged yesterday, the IFP remains ever committed to the fight of the evil of women and children abuse in the communities of our country. In his last speech to the conference of the IFP in his capacity as President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi tasked the leaders and members of the IFP to protect women and children of our country. He said this was his last assignment to the party. That is the type of seriousness with which this subject is regarded and treated within the IFP.

# Count the IFP in. #Not in our name as IFP Men.