A blog by Wandisile Sebezo.
Plett communities march against gender based violence in Qolweni, Pine Trees and Kwano
While the world is fighting an invisible pandemic, there is a visible one ravaging woman and children every day – Gender Based Violence (GBV). This, despite it being declared by President Ramaphosa a national crisis in September 2019, GBV seems to be on the rise in South Africa.
Recent GBV cases that have attracted nationwide protests include the murder of 25-year-old Naledi Phangindawo of Mossel Bay who was hacked to death with an axe and knife on 8 June 2020 by her boyfriend, Mlondi Ntlangule (34).
Tshegofatso Pule was laid to rest after she was found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort. Cape Town dancer and LBGTQI activist, 28-year-old Kirvan Fortuin, was stabbed to death in Macassar on Saturday, 13 June. A 14 year-year old girl has been arrested in connection with the murder.
Gender activists say GBV have skyrocketed partly because the national lockdown has meant that woman and children are forced to stay locked indoors with their abusers.
Plett communities joined the rest of the country in bemoaning femicide and GBV, with memories still fresh of Plett Model Simnikiwe Mfengu who was murdered by her boyfriend in Cape Town in December 2018.
Last week about 50 men from Qolweni and Pine Trees congregated on the streets of that suburb to take a bold stand against GBV in a country where 1 in 3 woman is raped or killed, mostly by someone they know.
On Thursday, the event moved to Kwano where both men and woman wearing black, joined hands in sounding the call to end GBV in our societies. The occasion was addressed by a number of social activists, including Plett Business woman Nokuzola “Sis Noksie” Kolwaphi, amongst others.
The event was called “Solidarity to Women” and it was no ordinary march, but a “men’s interactive candle light dialogue” where men were actually calling each other out, but more importantly opening up.
The reality is that the perpetrators of GBV are our brothers, friends, fathers and sons, and it’s about bloody time men too form part of the conversation, so that we can hold each other accountable.
So kudos to the organizers, they are Ward 3 Bitou Municipal Councillor Xolani Matyhila, Xolani Bangela, Sixolise Mtirara, Sandile Mjuza, Bongani Kraya, Zolani Ndwanya and Mathuso.
Everyone was encouraged to wear black in protest against the scourge.