How many women and children must die for the government to act?

By: Nomvuyo Sebeko

We were only halfway through the month of June, with the world fighting a pandemic- the invincible coronavirus increasingly killing millions of people across the world. It is not far-fetched to think that everyone’s focus would be on fighting the deadly virus and trying to keep safe while following all the regulations. What no one pays attention to, is the even deadlier virus called the ‘entitled man’.

Just two weeks ago, we had to see the brutal murder of five women and a lovely seven year old baby girl.

On 01 August 2018, The Total Shut-down marchers took to the streets of South Africa to drive across the statement, my body is not your crime scene”. On that day, the country experienced about 20 different marches of the Total Shut-down movement that was organised by women who were tired and angry. On that very same day the President failed to show up to personally receive the memorandum that these women were carrying, he sent the minister of education, Hon.Minister Naledi Pandor. This was almost like a slap in the face to these angry women. He could not even send the Minister of police? When the minister was turned away, he arrived late to address the women who were waiting for him.

The group of women who were angry and tired of femicide in South Africa asked the president to review the past national action plan to end the scourge of Gender Base Violence with a view to understand why they failed.

These demands where made two years ago when the country was mourning the brutal murder of Karabo Mokoena who was murdered by her boyfriend. Fast forward to the 5th of September 2019 when the President, along with his ministers and deputy misters came to address and receive a memorandum from the women marchers outside parliament in Cape Town.

It is now two years later with two memorandums on his hands from women who are saying “enough is enough, the killing of women and children must come to an end”, yet our government is still coming up with stories and theories on how they will try to put an end all of this. As a woman myself, I am tired of seeing the president addressing the nation every time a group of protesters hands him a memorandum of how women are tired of being scared. I believe that the country wants action, not words.

Last week, we watched the entire world go down on one knee to honour the death of a young black American man who was killed by the Minneapolis police of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Our own government decided to come up with the campaign that will show support to the Black Lives Matter(BLM) movement which was taking place in USA. The president said that the government of South Africa strongly supports the movement and they are willing to help the movement end the social injustice.

Two years back on the 1st of August to Total shut-down movement had asked the president to initiate a 365 days campaign against GBV which was supposed to be headed by the minister of women in presidency, till this day we are await the campaign. The government was supposed to get back to the people and let them know what measures they have taken to prevent the killing of women and children. Till this day it is all just talk shop.

The government needs to tell us when enough will be enough according and how many women and children we should bury for them to act as our government and protect us.


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