09 August 2022
The Federation of Unions of South Africa ( FEDUSA ) is deeply saddened on this Women’s Day, that lip service continues to be paid in the advancement of the protection of women in South African society. There is truly little to celebrate this year, as the irony and injustice continues due to lack of effective monitoring and compliance, rendering Convention 190 (C190) as a potential toothless tiger.
Joint responsibility must be placed at the doors of the Ministries of Police and Employment and Labour as the lead custodial authorities in terms of the legislative landscape. It is insulting and demoralising that the future prospects of eight young women were brutally stolen from them, whilst they were in the line of duty. Government stands accused of failing the victims of this heinous crimes, once again.
It is alleged that these attacks were conducted by illegal miners who have been terrorizing the community for years. FEDUSA demands that the Minister of Police apologises to the nation for his utter ignorance and lack of respect for the victims. Bheki Cele is not fit to hold public office if his insensitivities cloud his ability to protect the most vulnerable in society. According to the Minister “the 19-year-old girl was lucky to be raped by one man”, Sies, this is uncalled for and “Enough is Enough”. Kwanele Manje!!! Rape is rape ! Irrespective of how many times or by how many men a woman was raped – there is no justification for crimes against society.
To blame the suspects as illegal miners and immigrants, is an excuse to cover up for governments incompetence to protect women, citizens, and vulnerable communities. According to the local community these thugs have been terrorizing them for years, committing serious violations against community members and women, with no action or strategies by the police cluster.
We demand justice for these victims now by all government departments and no bail must be granted to the accused perpetrators. It is scandalous that communities must beg their government to protect them and their children against criminals. The National Development Plan (NDP) emphasises that safety is a core human right. FEDUSA calls on President Ramaphosa to deploy the South African National Defence Force to protect the community as the SAPS clearly lack the capacity to do so.
Government has failed to live up to the 1994 promises of a free and safe South Africa for all citizens. Sixty-six years ago, 20 000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings. The march led by Mama Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Sophia Williams – De Bruyn and Rahima Moosa and others sent a strong message to the apartheid forces. Despite the dangers they faced at the time, these strong women refused to be persecuted in their own country and asserted their worth as human beings.
Let their legacy not be in vain and let us start by freeing society from the shackles of ignorance. Gender equality education must be promoted at school level to reduce the prevalence and ensure the sanctity of women and children are safeguarded. When women are free, we are all free !!!!!!
For interviews please contact:
Ms Nomabandla Silinyana
FEDUSA Vice President Social Justice and Gender
082 675 2667
Ms Riefdah Ajam
FEDUSA General Secretary
076 696 2625