Taking a stand against gender violence

Elderly women made their voices heard during the march.

Hundreds of concerned residents and members of civic organisations marched through the streets of Gugulethu and Nyanga on Tuesday June 6, to support Ilitha Labantu’s #OneTooManySA campaign in response to the recent spike in violence against women and children.

The march was aimed at channelling public anger sparked by the killings. A crowd gathered shortly after 11am in Steve Biko Road, on the corner of NY3A.

The civic organisations said the attacks should be of concern to all and a call to action was needed to address this scourge of senseless violence because not a day goes by without hearing of the ruthless murders and rape of young women and children.

Ilitha Labantu said since January a number of women and girls have been abducted, raped and murdered.

In some of these cases, the victims’ eyes were gouged out or their private parts mutilated.

Ilitha Labantu’s media liaison officer, Siyabulela Monakali, said it is outrageous that women and children are killed everyday.

“It is now an everyday thing. This should be a warning to communities to stand up and speak in one voice against this scourge. Cape Town seems to be leading in these kinds of atrocities as not a day goes by without hearing of these horrific murders. Ilitha Labantu says enough is enough as we demand greater action to end this scourge,” said Mr Monakali.

He called on people to take a stand against the violence.

He said the march, including motorcade, were among a series of activities that are leading up to pickets that will take place on Wednesday June 14.

“This is non-partisan; it doesn’t matter whether you are DA, ANC, Cope – it doesn’t matter what civic society organisation that is here. You join us so that we stand in unity.

“We believe that it is through our collective action that we are able to bring the much needed change in our communities.

“We want everyone to join us so that we can stand in one voice to say let’s end this scourge against women and children. We are saying come out in numbers. You cannot be hearing that a neighbour’s child is abducted and raped and keep quiet. We’re saying your child is my child. It should concern us all,” he said.

Some demonstrators directed their anger at government, saying it is not acting on the killings.

Vuyelwa Ngoma, holding a placard showing a battered girl, accused the government of not doing its work to arrest murderers.

“I have braved my arthritis to come march and stand here because I have had enough of the killings. This government should do something to protect us and our children,”she said.

Another concerned resident, Nomaxala Mqela said she was worried because the younger generation is being destroyed by perpetrators.

“It seems we won’t have a generation to come. I am deeply worried with the status quo. We need unity against this scourge,” she said.

The marchers also went to two police stations, Gugulethu and Nyanga, to hand over a petition.

Accepting the petition at the Gugulethu police station was Colonel Cyril Nkuna who said police support the marchers.

He said he would make sure that police officials are also sensitised.

“As police we are fighting the scourge. We are against abuse and the killing of women and children. We support the #OneTooManySA pledge campaign,” said Colonel Nkuna.