Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoane-Mashabane says Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in South Africa is akin to a pandemic. The minister was speaking during the Northern Cape’s launch of Progressive Professional Forum’s campaign.

Nkoane-Mashabane says the same energy used to fight COVID-19 should be directed to violence against women and children.

She says men need to do better.

“Go door-to-door, talk to our boy children that they did not create patriarchy, they inherited it; they actually don’t have the responsibility to make it keep going. It’s time to heed the voice, the one that says “sekwanele,” it is enough. President Ramaphosa says we must deal with the scourge with the tenacity as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We must look at this as a pandemic. An action and more action; you cannot look the other way.”

Tough new laws could be in place to help fight GBV and femicide:

Justice system failing victims

In October, families of the victims of GBV said the criminal justice system is failing them. They said alleged perpetrators are set free by the police and the courts, which inflicts secondary trauma for them when they encounter the perpetrators in the community.

However, police say some of the victims are equally to blame especially when they decide to drop the case.

Minister Bheki Cele calls on traditional leaders to protect survivors of GBV:

In Alexandra, a blind mother said she fears for her life as she is constantly harassed by a group of men, who want her to drop a case she opened against their tenant after the community found the alleged perpetrator on top of her 14-year-old daughter attempting to rape her.

She cannot be named as this might identify the young victim.

She said she regarded her tenant as her own child.

“I took him as my own child, and even my daughter regarded him as her elder brother. Even when I had nothing, he would give me something or buy me a cooldrink and I would also give him food. I never thought ill of him. I cannot sleep at night when I hear some noise, I wake up. Even now they want me to drop the case.”