COMMUNITY FED UP WITH GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

Members of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) of Ekurhuleni region joined forces with SACP, SANCO and Cosas to march against Gender Based Violence as part of Women’s day celebration on the 10th of August 2020 in Daveyton.Some women at the protest expressed their concerns about the ‘incompetence’ of the local SAPS officials on resolving cases of domestic abuse. “If the police are failing to do their jobs then they must give us their uniform and we will do it, we’re saying enough is enough, gender based violence must stop now,” said a local community leader Zanele Dlamini.“A no from a drunkard means no, a no from someone who is your partner is still a no, a no from me when I’m naked is a no and gender based violence must stop now, we need your support as men and as members of the community.

It is not my duty as a victim to stop rape and we can go to many conferences as women to try and stop this thing [GBV] but it is the duty of the community to work collectively and let it start now comrades,” added Dlamini.The regional secretary and spokeperson for Gauteng MKMVA Bafana Mahlabe was among the voices of men that called out other men to stop abusing women and children. Mahlabe was leading the demonstration toward Daveyton police station to hand over the memorandum that had unresolved cases of domestic abuse. Members of the community wanted answers on why the police station had so many unresolved cases and some of them either did not have a docket or it was missing. On behalf of MKMVA and Daveyton community Mahlaba handed over “a men against violence memorandum of demand” to Colonel Mngomezulu of Daveyton SAPS.The memorandum demands that men should stand against the societal pandemic of Gender Based Violence as instructed by the President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa. “Before we can think about nation building we should start building strong and balanced families, this is done out of love to our beloved communities and our country in general and this should not be a single day event but there will be continuous programmes and they should have the lasting existence in our communities in order to make a tangible difference to save the domestic lives of our society,” Mahlaba read the memorandum.

“The following are the demands coupled with the feasible proposals in order to curb and fight this pandemic from the roots, the establishment of gender based violence unit in the SAPS department and this unit should be headed by the senior ranking officer and all five clusters should have a representative both female and male and they should go for an extensive training on domestic violence matters,” the memorandum continues.Colonel Mngomezulu, has welcomed the memorandum and promised the community that he will also work with other surrounding police stations to resolve matters as reflected on the petition.“Out of all the issues that were raised within the petition some of the cases involve my neighbouring stations, so what will happen I will also forward this petition to my nearest police station and feedback will be granted,” Mngomezulu concluded.

BY THABANG RAMMUTLA

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