Speech by: Hon T.P Madlopha-Mthethwa, MPL
Kubalulekile ukuthi uma namhlanje njengoba sizokhuluma ngodaba olubucayi kangaka oseluphenduke umbhedukazwe kesisukume sigobise amakhanda ethu sikhuleke ngezinhliziyo sinxuse uMdali ukuthi ehlise uMoya oNgcwele phezu kwalelizwe lethu eseliphenduke inhlekisa kwamanye amazwe ngokuthi abesifazane nezingane sebephenduke
abazingelwa amadoda anonya mihla namalanga. Njengabaholi kumele imiqondo yethu kanye nonembeza igxile ekutheni ngabe senza okwanele yini ekulwisaneni nodlame olubhekiswe kubantu besifazane. Isikhathi lesi sokuthi sikhumbule bonke abesifazane nezingane abadlule emhlabeni ngenxa yezandla zababulali iningi labo okungabantu beslisa.
Hon Speaker, since South Africa’s dawn to democracy, the country has been admired both at home and abroad, as a beacon of stability, peace, and security. It is therefore regrettable that today, hardly an hour passes without reports of murder, rape, and other forms of violence against women and children at the hands of men. These sickening acts have resulted to this country being identified to have five times higher violence against women and children than the rest of the world.
The IFP is gravely concerned that latest crime statistics proves that women and children have been let down by the government. Sexual offences against women and children from went up from 8 759 reported cases to 9 308 in KZN. Rape cases increased from 7 243 to 7667 in this province. This is clearly showing that this government has failed miserably to address this scourge. It is a shame that the government continues to deliver words of condolences, condemn these acts of violence and deliver more promises to the victims without implementing much desired action.
Time for rhetoric and more promises is over. As the IFP, we say enough is enough, today, we want to know the plans of the government of this province on what it intends to with high risk areas like Inanda in Durban which recorded most rape cases of any single police station in the country (338 cases).
Just in Jozini, in Ward 7 alone, twelve (12) women were raped in three days. Again, in few days ago, UKZN Miss Varsity Shield top 10 finalist Sinethemba Ndlovu was stabbed to death by a man who allegedly wanted to sexually abuse her at Sidakeni in Msinga. Women are not safe in their homes, workplaces in university residences, in places of worship even in government properties even in public places.
- To call on Government to recognise that it has lost the war against crime in our country and that its strategy to fight gender-based violence must be overhauled;
- Hon Speaker, we are disturbed by the growing reports that when women try to report sexual offences, they are sent from pillar to post by police and health officials. It cannot be accepted that important tools such as rape kits, delays in DNA testing, poor healing, support and care for victims. It can not be normal that these services and support are still inadequate, dysfunctional in this province.
- We urge the Premier to make funds presented by the Hon President of the country available to all our health facilities, thuthuzela centres and for training the law enforcement on dealing with gender sensitivity and sexual offences.
- To call on big business and Government to support NGOs who fight on behalf of women and children, in particular those who run shelters for abused women and children.
- We call upon all departments involved in assisting to do more, to avail these services and ensure they are functional at all times.
- We also urge the members of this house to start conducting adequate oversight visits in police stations, thuthuzela centres, courts and other places to ensure victims receive enough support and that perpetrators receive harshest possible jail terms with no possibility of bail or parole.
- Empowerment of women is crucial. Some young women are exposed to risks because of dependency to “Blessers” who in turn take advantage of them and therefore the IFP calls for prioritization of economic opportunities and businesses funding for women.
- Government must increase the 30% requirement of women services to 50% to encourage more women to be economically liberated.
- Force the private sector to come into the party and play a positive role in empowering women.
- Punish absent fathers who continue to brutalise and contribute negatively in the grooming of children.
- All perpetrators of GBV must be granted harshest possible jail terms without possibility of parole and bail because perpetrators are becoming more brazen in their actions. This scourge must be confronted with the same brutality that it presents on a daily basis to women and children in this country.
- Honourable Speaker, the IFP have always called upon the government to include GBV in the school curriculum from primary schools because the society plays a huge role in moulding the type of men that commit these crimes against women children and the vulnerable. We therefore commend the move to implement Gender Equality module as part of Life Orientation in the school’s curriculum in order to teach and train young boys to become better men who protect and value women.
- Let us now realise that without changing the mindsets of men who are perpetrators, this fight will be in vain because they will continue to do it. We must see men organise themselves to lead this fight against women and children abuse. Each ward must branch establish a Men’s Forum to encourage men to deal with any emotional struggles and concerns. The patriarchal settings that are encouraged by men for boys to dominate and show masculinity over women should be dealt with.
- As parents, we must enforce the teaching of respect and equality to our kids especially boys at a tender age. Young boys must be taught that violence does not solve problems and it is okay to seek help to deal with mental and anger issues if there are signs.
- That each ward must establish a Men’s Forum to encourage men to deal with any emotional struggles and concerns.
- To spearhead a back-to-basics campaign based on the principle of ubuntu/botho, thereby re-instilling African values in our modern democracy.
I thank you