The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has called on communities to stand up and defend women. He was addressing residents of Matatiele in the Eastern Cape as part of the National Women’s Day celebrations.
Malema says women nowadays experience challenges that need everyone to stand up and protect them.
More and more women are becoming targets of violent behaviour. In rural areas, the elderly are often targeted and accused of practicing witchcraft. Residents here want the government to do more to protect them.
“They tell us to go to the police. When we go to them, the police tell us we know the suspects because they are our children.”
“I wish men could respect us as women and know our worth. We are the rock. Without us, they wouldn’t be here. Before the police can protect us, men must first protect us. If men don’t respect us, this country will not go anywhere.”
Women’s Day I EFF leader Julius Malema calls on communities to protect women:
“The trend is the removal of people’s body parts and we are told they are then used for muthi. We don’t like that when our children are killed and have their bodies dismembered.”
In some parts of the Eastern Cape, Ukuthwala, the act of marrying off young girls to older men, is still rife. The EFF leader strongly condemns it.
“If you are a product of Ukuthwala, let it end with you. Let the children go to school. Let the children be educated and come and take you out of your poverty. Because this Ukuthwala you are giving this child to a poor person who has nothing, who’s not going to help you with anything. But if this child goes to school, Mandisa Maya will come from your family.”
Malema believes communities can play a meaningful role in curbing crimes targeting women.
“These people of South Africa must rise because, in the absence of government, the people themselves must defend themselves. There’s no one who’s going to defend us. They don’t want to defend us. We now have to take it upon ourselves to defend ourselves as you did in 1956 like you did in 1976. You stood up.”
The EFF student command called on communities to instill the values of respect for each other in their children to ensure they become responsible adults.