Men from different communities across the country have committed to working together to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in their communities. Parliament has held a two-day Men’s Parliament for the Men’s Movement to look at issues confronting men in their communities.

The gathering also dealt with progress made in setting up structures in municipalities, districts and provinces, where men can gather and deal with building better men and safer communities. The Men’s Parliament closed on Friday evening and will reconvene in two years for a review.

Parliament holds two-day National Men’s Parliament to deliberate on GBV resolutions:

It has taken the South African men’s sector five years to come up with a definition of a man, for the Men’s Charter.

Deputy Chairperson of Men’s Movement, Dr Matome Kganakga, says the charter defines a man whose consciousness is a reflection of themselves.

“We have in our Men’s Charter defined a man as whose consciousness is a reflection of themselves as an adult male. Being a man is not a matter limited to biology, gender, sexuality, religion, culture or socio- economic status. A man is he who is productive, protective and a care giver in society. A certain consciousness that responds positively to matters in his society.”

The aim is for men who are gay, transgender, feminine and others to identify with the campaign to end gender-based violence. Cultural practices are also being looked at for reform.

Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Sipho Mahlangu, says initiation was not meant to kill boys.

“Initiation was not meant to be killing the boys but it’s killing (them) now. Initiation was meant to give us as fathers, those that are in here, an opportunity to sit with your son and be able to inculcate the values and norms that we’re supposed to live with. Values and norms that are supposed to be protecting our sisters and our mothers. But we are starting to see things that culture is not. Ukuthwala, also completely misunderstood and I think we need to bring it back to perspective. Issue of ukuzila, it’s also a cultural practice that oppresses women that needs to be looked at. We also have a culture of ukungena and other marriage practices that we believe have to be reviewed.”

In two years, the men will return to Parliament to look back at work done, to change South African men for the better.

South African men pledge to work towards ending the scourge of GBV in communities:

Gauteng Community Safety embarks on oversight campaign against GBV

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has embarked on an oversight campaign on Gender-Based Violence in the province amid reports of more brutal attacks. Members of the department visited Evaton on the Vaal where the scourge of GBV is rife.

In one incident, a 26-year-old victim was killed by her alleged boyfriend after he allegedly raped her. He is then alleged to have cut up her body and set it alight.

The suspect has been arrested and is expected to appear at Palm Ridge Magistrates Court in Ekurhuleni on Monday.

Acting head of department, Sipho Thanjekwayo, has appealed to women and girls to immediately report any acts of violence against them.

“Most of our cases are open on Friday and Saturday and then on Monday, they are withdrawn. The majority of these cases are people who depended on these perpetrators. But what we are saying to the victims is that if you don’t continue with your case, the perpetrator is not going to stop. Today it might be a slap on the face, tomorrow it might be a murder. Like in this house where we are. It started with GBV until it came to murder.”

– Additional reporting by Ditaba Tsotetsi.