Emotions ran high during a mass prayer session held at Isiphiwo Primary School, in Khayelitsha, on Saturday June 24, with a number of women breaking down in tears.
Hundreds of people from different backgrounds and races from around the province attended the prayer against the ongoing attacks on women and children.
South Africa has recently experienced a spate of violent crimes against women in recent months -and in Khayelitsha alone at least 23 children have died in the past two months.
Deputy minister for the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, Nomaindia Mfeketo, who initiated the prayer, slammed the attitude and behaviour of men towards children and women. She said the country should go back to its roots where parents took collective responsibility for children.
“We muts not turn a blind eye to abusers. Women must not allow girls to be abused because someone has money and they depend on that particular person,” she said.
Ms Mfeketo said she roped in men of the cloth as they were the custodians of morals and values. She called for moral restoration to the country, saying: “I appeal to churches and the whole community to stand up to revive our culture, values and respect. Let us look at ourselves and find ourselves,” she said.
Ms Mfeketo said she hoped that the churches would take the initiative forward.
A number of the country’s musicians including Anele Bhuka, Butho Vuthela, Lusanda Mcinga, Veliswa Skeyi, Jongi and Sihlanu, Reverend Mkhabile Nkomfa entertained the crowd.
But the day’s highlight was when reverend Mzukisi Fatyela asked women to pray for men who troubled their lives.
Tears and screams reverberated through the walls of the packed hall.
Those gathered at the hall described the killings as inhumane and unethical.
“The brutal killings, particularly of children from three months to five years, cannot be stomached,” Mr Nkomfa said. “It is too emotional to explain. The killings should not be happening in a normal society.
“This is inhumane and unethical. We can no longer stand this brutality,” an emotional Mr Nkomfa said, adding that there was a need for more prayers for men.
Site C resident Nokwanda Nqevu had to go back home because the venue was full, while others stood and enjoyed the proceedings outside the venue. Ms Nqevu said she was impressed with the turnout, but disappointed because she could not get inside the hall.