The ongoing attacks on ambulances and other emergency services staff featured prominently when a group of men and a handful of women marched through the streets of Gugulethu, against the abuse of women and children, on Sunday August 6.
With National Women’s Day having been celebrated yesterday, Wednesday August 9, the men – under the banner of the Blaah’s Society -said they wanted to motivate women and show society that “not all men are trash”.
Joined by men from various denominations and men’s organisations, the marchers peacefully walked from St Mary Magdelene Anglican Church condemning the abuse of women and children. They walked from the corner of NY2 and NY3 through NY1 to Gugulethu police station where they handed over a memorandum to station management.
Blaah’sSocietychairman Mpumelelo Ngindana said women and children were under siege in society, with men responsible for the attacks. He said most of their members fought for democracy and would continue to fight for women and children’s rights.
“We shall fight against this enemy and we are certain we will defeat this evil conduct,” said Mr Ngindana.
“No real men assault women and children. Only trash abuse our beloved women and children. We want women to know that not all men are trash, there are still good men out there.”
Mr Ngindana said his organisation was also concerned about the attacks on paramedics who now need to first report to the police station so they can be escorted to the scene of an emergency.
“Their route does not come here, but they are forced to come here first. This means someone whose life is in danger could die while the ambulance is waiting for an escort,” he said.
Mr Ngindana said police had more important and pressing issues to attend to than escorting ambulances. He urged men to rise and act against this behaviour. “It tears my heart apart,” he said.
Member of the St Mary Magdelene Anglican Mothers’ Union, Joyce Ngxukumesha said she decided to join the march to show her support to men.
She said most women, herself included, suffered at the hands of men. “I want to encourage these men to continue with what they are doing,” she said.
“As we speak I do not know where is my own husband. He just walked out of the house, and to date I am waiting for him to return. Men must stop doing what they are doing to us.”