Smaller parties back EFF's call for reinstatement of alcohol ban
During the National Assembly debate on gender-based violence (GBV), some MPs on Tuesday called for the reinstatement of the alcohol ban as well as a responsive and accountable justice system.
The debate, sponsored by the EFF amid an increase in reported and publicised cases of femicide, also lamented “lip service" from government institutions which were rarely followed up by action.
Leading the charge for the EFF, Veronica Mente opened the debate by slamming the government for dragging its feet when it came to implementing solutions.
“We sincerely believe that all arms of the state, in particular the legislative arm, are fiddling while Rome burns,” Mente said.
She said the EFF had asked for the establishment of a parliamentary committee which would receive weekly updates from the police and the National Prosecuting Authority to allow for greater accountability.
“Successful prosecution is the weakest link in the fight against gender-based violence.”
Mente said women were under siege from those with whom they attended church and shared their homes. “As a woman you can expect to be raped and killed at any time with impunity.
“If parliament does not go beyond debate, many more women will die at the hands of men.”
Mente also reiterated the EFF call for the ban on alcohol sales to be reinstated for the duration of the lockdown as it exacerbated instances of violence against women, who remained trapped with their abusers in their homes.
The same call was made by the Inkatha Freedom Party, which said it supports the reinstatement of the ban which marked the first two months of the country’s nationwide lockdown.
Al Jama-ah MP Ganief Hendricks also supported the call, going further to say protection orders should be made available to credible religious leaders to distribute to women in distress.
Mente and DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone also resuscitated the confrontation between EFF leader Julius Malema and ANC MP Boy Mamabolo.
Last year the ANC MP was forced to retract allegations he made against Malema that he physically assaulted his wife.
Malema in turn called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to respond to allegations that he used to physically abuse his former late wife. Malema later apologised to Ramaphosa.
Mente said the ethics committee “remained mum,” on allegations against Mamabolo by his former partner that he was physically abusive.
Mazzone said she did not subscribe to the notion that “all men are trash", but said instances of gruesome killings and the rape of South African women were indicative of “psychopaths” who needed to be dealt with.
She referred to “little boys” in parliament who used the platform to settle “old fights over a girl”, without directly referring to Mamabolo and Malema.
“Women are being chopped up, pregnant women are killed with babies in their bodies,” Mazzone said.
ANC MP Zanele Nkomo said GBV defied the essence of human dignity embedded in the South African constitution.
Nkomo said GBV was no longer only “a scourge". "It is not a crisis, it is a pandemic,” she said.