The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) calls on government to redouble its efforts to prevent gender-based violence (GBV), including rape and other forms of sexual violence, improve access to justice and reparations for victims, and ensure prompt criminal investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators. We implore government to adopt a victim-centred approach to fighting the scourge of rape and other forms of sexual violence. It is crucial that women are active participants in designing measures to prevent and address these crimes, and that law enforcement and judicial officials receive the requisite training in handling such cases.
The IFP further calls on parents and guardians to stand up for the rights of their children and not betray them by accepting payment for their silence. This, after recent reports that the mother of a teenage girl who was raped in Emmaus in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, was allegedly persuaded to accept cattle as a gesture to pay for “damages” after her daughter’s ordeal.
Rape is a monstrous crime and perpetrators must be held accountable. It is a violation of women and girls’ basic human rights to liberty, safety and the right to choose. It is a cruel and degrading act. Physical injury and disfigurement, emotional trauma, pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV, are some of the consequences that remain with the victim.
The IFP also calls for urgent action to be taken against police that are accused of failing to arrest the alleged perpetrator. The police must not let our people down by being partisan. We demand that the perpetrator be arrested and removed from society, before he rapes other women and young girls. We need to get this matter before a judge quickly.
We cannot claim to be celebrating Women’s Month while women in our communities continue to be victims of abuse.
Justice delayed is justice denied.
Hon. Les Govender, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson for Social Development
083 974 4894