The Eastern Cape legislature’s multi-party women’s caucus yesterday brought Bhisho to a standstill with a march from Bhisho Stadium to the Bhisho State House to express “outrage” against rampant violence against women and children.
DA’s Veliswa Mvenya said if the justice system continued to give bail to perpetrators of violence against women, they must be handed over to women “so we can get our hands on them and circumcise them again”.
The caucus, joined by hundreds of ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) members in the province and other anti-women’s abuse groups marched to hand over a petition to premier Phumulo Masualle.
In the petition read out to Masualle and EC provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga by EC ANCWL provincial secretary Nolitha Ntobongwana, the marchers demanded:
lAn immediate end to the senseless violence unleashed on women and children’s bodies;
lSpheres of government and NGOs work together to develop an integrated national plan to stop gender-based violence.
lVastly improved service delivery for victims of violence;
lA roll-out of prevention programmes addressing harmful gender norms and masculinity and promoting equitable relationships among men and women;
lGovernment implement gender education from pre-school to tertiary levels that iwas anti-sexist, anti-patriarchal and outlaws all practices that were oppressive to women;
lThe SAPS must treat victims of domestic violence with dignity and courts of law must deny bail to suspected perpetrators of violence against women and children; and
lMen denounce violence against women at every turn.
Masualle accepted the petition, and committed his government to ensure that the women’s caucus programme, which started yesterday, would be noted as “a revolution that sweeps through the length and breadth of the Eastern Cape”.
“The truth is all of us, government and other sectors of society, must root out this scourge. I can guarantee you that we will walk this journey together for we need to unite for this to come to an end and isolate perpetrators who do not deserve to be among us in our communities.”