The National Assembly through its presiding officers has joined the national  uproar against the mounting  femicide and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases.

In a statement issued on Sunday, parliament says bold and resolute action should be taken to deal with the spate of GBV cases.

“We know it has festered for too long, shielded by the veils of silence and fuelled by patriarchy and sexism. We know that ending it needs effort from sections of society, particularly men as perpetrators – in the areas where we live, the places where we work and from all private and state institutions, including our justice and criminal justice systems. The wheels of justice must turn and be seen to turn swiftly in bringing alleged perpetrators to book and meting out appropriate (harsher) punishment to discourage the occurrence of similar offences. But even more important, is ensuring an environment where these heinous crimes against a significant population of our society do not even take place in the first place,” read the statement.

Below is the full statement:

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‘Fitting sentences’

Meanwhile, the statement calls for fitting sentences on the killers of Tshegofatso Pule, a 28-year-old woman whose body was found hanging from a tree with multiple stab wounds, and Ms Naledi Phangindawo, a 26-year-old who was stabbed to death by the father of her children, and many other victims of GBV.

“Parliament will continue to intensify its oversight to ensure all interventions against the scourge are realised, and this includes the implementation of the decisions of the Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence, overhaul and modernisation of the national register of Gender-Based Violence offenders, resolving challenges rating to backlog of cases and delays in DNA testing, as well as ensuring availability of rape test kits in police stations,” the statement says.

The statement further appeals for cooperation in fighting GBV.

“As with our global co-operation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, so, too, let us work together, as humanity, to fight the femicide and Gender-Based Violence still stalking our nation. Together, we can build that better world to which so many aspire, for which so many have struggled and died.”