Defence Minister Thandi Modise has been given seven days to respond to a memorandum of demands by Operation Dudula.
A movement under the Operation Dudula banner, Izimbokodo, marched to the Department of Defence in Pretoria to demand for the deployment of the army in crime-ridden areas, especially in the west of Gauteng and where illegal mining is rife.
The women say they’ve had enough of social ills ravaging communities. Their action follows the gang-rape of eight women in West Village in Krugersdorp last month, allegedly by illegal miners.
Operation Dudula members march to the Defence office calling for an end to GBV:
The Movement’s Zandile Dabula says the Defence Minister is their last hope. She says as women they will stand up because women are the most affected people in this country.
The march comes after eight women were gang raped in the area last month, since then calls have been mounting for the President Cyril Ramaphosa to deploy the army.
The movement’s Zandile Dabula says they’ve been asking the President since May, to declare a State Of Emergency, and now they pin their last hopes on the Defence Minister. She says as women they will stand up because women are the most affected people in South Africa.
Dabula adds, “So we will take it upon ourselves to make sure there won’t be operations until the army is deployed. We’re going to block the roads, people will not be going to work and unfortunately, businesses will have to shut down on those days.”
The women say they are tired of living in constant fear.
One of the members of Imbokodo says she can’t walk in the streets alone at night and that she is even afraid to walk after 8pm because she does not feel safe.
“We were told that someone was killed daily and the most frustrating thing is that for us in Mohlakeng, we don’t have a police station. Our military goes out of the country to go and defend or to assist other countries when their communities are attacked the way we are attacked but because they are in a war, that’s why their soldiers are going out. So why can’t they protect us for the same crimes that they got out to protect those citizens in those countries they are supporting,” says a marcher.
Mass deportation of illegal foreigners
Their demands include the mass deportation of illegal foreigners and for the army to assist law enforcement officers to fight crime. They also highlighted the problem of Zama Zamas, the rape and murder of women, the high rate of kidnapping and human trafficking and the proliferation of drugs.
She adds that they are going to speak to Minister Modise, from one woman to another, because they expect her to understand their plight as women.
“That’s why we are marching to her to say go speak to your boss up there and tell him people are suffering on the ground. They might not be affected but we people on the ground are affected. They must make a plan. I’ve heard that there is no budget for the armies but if they can have people for their monthly salaries how it is possible there’s no budget, if they are working in their offices then let them go around on the ground,” explains Dabula.
The memorandum was received by the Head of Communications Siphiwe Dlamini.
“Your behaviour was professional and very serious and we take this matter as seriously as we take it,” says Dlamini.