Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Bhuti Manamela, says toxic masculinity is a disease that needs to be eradicated.
He was addressing hundreds of mourners who have packed the Abbotsford Christian Centre in East London to pay their last respects to Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Mrwetyana (19), a film and media studies student at the University of Cape Town, was raped and murdered, allegedly by a 42-year Post Office worker.
She leaves behind her father, mother, and brother. Manamela says Uyinene’s death is a loss for the country.
“We think that the bigger problem is the societal problem, that’s why the different ministries this week instructed by the President issued a statement indicating that government is committed to making sentences harsher for those who commit sexual crimes against women, but also to ensure that we strengthen safety and security in our country,” says Manamela.
Manamela has pleaded with communities to unite in fighting sexual crimes against women.
“Policies and security alone is not enough if we do not change, particularly of men in our society, we will not be able to deal with the scourge of violence against women. I emphasise the point that some of the perpetrators of sexual gender-based violence, for instance, are people in our communities. People in our societies, in our streets, colleges and all of that and these are people that we live with on a daily basis and if we don’t challenge them we will not be able to defeat this scourge.”
Manamela has further echoed the sentiments of President Cyril Ramaphosa calling on men of the country to take responsibility for the way they have been treating women.
Ramaphosa visited the family home of the 19-year-old UCT student on Friday, where he called for a national campaign against gender-based violence.
Watch | [LIVE] Uyinene Mrwetyana’s funeral