Mashatile launches 16 days of activism against violence campaign

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Deputy President Paul Mashatile is expected to launch the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign at Nsikazi stadium in Kabokweni, Mpumalanga, on Saturday.

Mpumalanga is one of the provinces that has recorded a high number of cases of gender-based violence. This has prompted residents in various parts of the province to launch awareness campaigns.

The people of Mjejane, near Malalane, recently took part in a 6 kilometre march to raise awareness of child abuse.

The Greater Rape Intervention Programme (GRIP), an organisation that supports victims of gender-based violence in the province, says activism goes a long way to getting victims to take action.

GRIP’s Lushia Ngomane says, “For Themba Hospital we have received 345 sexual rape cases. So for the court we had 574 cases out of the 574 cases 49, were convictions and out of the 49, 33 were sentenced, so, at Kamagugu Ekhaya shelter in the previous year, we had  176 GBV survivors, at Mkhondo we had 157.”

A victim of gender based violence Feziwe, not her real name, says she has lost hope in the justice system following her ordeal in August this year. She says she was repeatedly raped in front of her two children by two men known to her.

She claims that the suspects have not been arrested.

“I went to the police station to open a case, then I went to the hospital to be examined. What hurts the most is that the police did not even take this matter seriously. No evidence was collected of where this incident happened. Even the police who were escorting me from the hospital dropped me off on the side of the road. They did not even go home with me to check if we would be safe or not.”

Meanwhile, the civil rights movement #Not in my name says the government’s launch of the 16 days of Activism for no violence against women and children yields no results.

The Secretary General, Themba Masango, says forward-thinking South Africans should work hand in glove to curb these acts.

“ We know that the government is launching in Mpumalanga tomorrow and we know that nothing new is going to be said. We are calling on all forward-thinking South Africans to partner with us and work with us and make sure that we get gender-based violence and femicide out of this country.”

The 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign will be launched at Nsikazi Stadium in Khumbula near White River.