Police Minister Bheki Cele, NGOs and other civil society groups embarked on a walk against Gender-Based Violence in Umlazi, south of Durban. The area ranks among the highest for the number of rape cases reported per region, in the country.
Police joined forces with community, civil society groups, and business organisations to combat the scourge of Gender-Based Violence in the country. The walk from the Umlazi Police Station to Max’s Lifestyle, which has been dubbed #ConquerGBV was aimed at creating awareness that will assist in reducing the incidence of GBV during the festive season.
According to crime statistics for 2019/2020, Inanda, Umlazi, and Umthatha recorded the highest number of rapes in the country.
Cele says although he does not have the exact latest figures, the situation is worrying.
“We are in Umlazi today, which leads in the entire country in terms of rape. I am glad we will also go to Inanda which is second. Umlazi and Inanda go with one another all the time and we are calling in the communities to say, as the police we will do all other walks with communities. We believe we cannot fight crime alone. We believe we cannot do this alone.”
NGO, Mzansi Act Now, says the increase in the number of reported cases of GBV means their awareness campaigns are bearing fruits.
The organisation’s Chairperson, Tebogo Lerole has welcomed the stance of law enforcement agencies to refuse bail to people accused of GBV.
“We are saying no to Gender-Based Violence 365 days a year. So, this is a stance that proves that in the hottest areas of the hottest hotspots, we will go there, we will create awareness. We want to make sure that every man in every corner they are hiding in if you are a perpetrator it’s high time you start changing because the police are reinforcing. The police want to work with the community and the minister of police has also said something very important two weeks ago, that if you rape anyone, no police station is going to give you bail. So, that for us is a win.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairperson of the KZN Liquor Authority, Professor Bonke Dumisa has cautioned people who consume alcohol not to use it as an excuse to abuse women and children.
“People must not abuse alcohol as an excuse for committing any type of crime. Drinking is not an excuse for abusing women and or committing any type of crime. If you commit a crime you belong in jail and that’s it. You cannot use the excuse and the defense that you were under the influence of liquor so you have some impunity that is not the case and we as the liquor authority are saying no to GBV.”
Dumisa who hails from Umlazi says his organisation considers Gender-Based Violence as an embarrassment to society. He has vowed to work hard to eradicate violence directed at women and children in the township.
#ConquerGBV protest march aims to highlight the scourge of the high crime rate in Umlazi: