HOSPERSA CONDEMNS SPIKE IN GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
18 May 2017
The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) condemns the alarming rate in which women and children are being raped and killed in South Africa (SA). The Union calls on law enforcement agencies to take a tougher stance against gender based violence which has spun out of control in recent weeks.
Hospersa has raised concerns over the recent spike in gender based violence agianst women and children in the country. Recent reports have mentioned cases from the rape and murder of a two-year girl in Khayelitsha, the murder of a 11-year old in Lavendar Hill (Parys) and the brutal murder of Karabo Mokoena in Johannesburg which has caused a public outcry. The common denominator in all these cases is that the alleged perpetrators are either family members or the victim’s intimate partner.
“We send our deepest condolences to the bereaved families,” said Hospersa National Youth coordinator Mzukisi Jam. “One can only imagine what the victims went through during these ordeals. It is high time that the country rallies behind the eradication of such senseless crimes against women and children,” said Jam.
“In Karabo’s case, it has emerged that she previously laid a charge of common assault against her boyfriend [the suspect],” argued Jam. “Those were the warning signs which our police department should have acted on. We call on our law enforcement agencies to act more efficiently on such cases where in most instances the victims end up feeling intimidated to leave a violent relationship fearing for their lives,” added Jam.
The newly appointed Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, has launched a campaign to combat the escalating crime levels in the country. According to the South African Demographic and Health Survey 2016 Key Indicators Report released on 15 May 2017, one in every five South African women older than 18 years has experienced physical violence, and 8% report that they experienced physical violence in the past 12 months. It is also estimated that a woman is killed in every six hours by her current or former intimate partner.
“As a trade union with many female members, Hospersa condemns these attacks and calls on the police department and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for a more effective system that will protect the victims upon reporting the crime,” said Jam. “We must rally behind the motto ‘Wathinta abafazi, wathinta imbhokodo’ (You touch a women, you touch a rock) and unite to eradicate these attacks in our communities,” concluded Jam.
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For interviews please contact Hospersa National Youth coordinator Mzukisi Jam on 071-995-2822.
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