’Not all men are trash’

Men came together at the Cesvi Foundation in Philippi to launch a 1000 signature campaign petition.

A non-profit organisation has urged men to sign petitions to show their disgust against gender-based violence.

The Cesvi Foundation has launched a 1000 signature campaign against gender-based violence, femicide and all forms of violence against women and children.

The foundation said the idea is to get men in the forefront of the fight against the crimes perpetrated against women.

Cesvi programme manager, Luvuyo Zahela, said the foundation decided not to sit back while there are men who are progressive. “We cannot be complacent about the narrative that men are trash when some of us are not trash. There are men out there who are progressive and are against all forms of violence against women and children.

“With the petition we urge men to take a stand and say no to GVB and other forms of violence. That is why we’re making a noise because if no one is making a noise, there will always be damage,” he said.

The information will be collected, put together and taken to various police stations like Samora Machel, Nyanga and Philippi East. The petition will also be online and would also capture voices and video clips of men denouncing violence against women.

On the day of the launch, a handful of men from different government and non-governmental organisations gathered at the Cesvi Foundation premises to map a way forward. It was refreshing to watch men debate the issue and give it the emotion and intensity that it deserves. During the debate some felt the government is not doing enough to combat the scourge while others felt it does not fully understand the pain of the victims.

Mr Zahela said the petition will also help the police and the courts to know the pain victims are going through. “The information will be collected and delivered on the 26th of this month (the start of the annual global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women Campaign) to various police stations. We will have a motorcade from here to Samora Machel, delivering the petition and move on to hot spots like Vlei, and Browns Farm. Along the way we will interact with men, showing them the way. Then we will go to Philippi East police station and do the same. We will then take Govan Mbeki Road to Nyanga police station,” he said.

He continued; “We eventually are going to end up at the Phillippi court where we will have speeches. We want the court to be sensitive. They should be on the side of the victim. The system is failing the victims. Cases should not be scratched even if the victim is not in court. The court needs to really find out the reasons. What we are hearing is that investigators or detectives are not alerting the victims of court dates most of the time,” said Mr Zahela.

Faith-based groups were also in attendance at the launch. Reverend Dumisani Qwebe from Nyanga Community Police Forum said they encourage men to sign the petition and support it. “If we can always work and support any group that strives to bring peace, we will always support it. Let me say forth that we are all going to sign the petition. We have seen crime going down because of the work of different stakeholders in this area. We will soon call all men to support and sign it,” he said.

Wearing his other hat of faith, Reverend Qwabe urged every reverend and pastor to preach the gospel in their respective churches. “As men, we need to make a call to all our congregants to sign and support the petition. This is for all men to take responsibility. Our dignity as men is at stake. We should not allow lawlessness to rule over us. Let us all do the right thing and fight the scourge of violence,” he told Vukani.

Cesvi programme manager, Luvuyo Zahela, explaining to men who gathered at Cesvi why there is a need for men to stand up against all forms of crimes against women and children.
Men making a pledge to denounce violence against women and children in front of women at Cesvi.