Today, South Africa has been rocked by numerous reports of devasting violence against women and children as well as the kidnapping of a six-year-old. The brutal reality is that these kinds of incidents happen every single day.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) offers our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was found raped and murdered; to the family of 14-year-old Janika Mallo who was also found raped and murdered in her grandmother’s back yard; and to the family of boxing champion Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels, who was murdered this weekend by her estranged boyfriend who was also a police officer.
We are also keeping the family of six-year-old Amy-Lee de Jager in our thoughts and wish that she will be returned safely.
As the DA, we are both angered and saddened by the all too many reports of gender-based violence and leaflets of missing women and children.
The cases that appear in the media space are few in comparison to the cases that go unreported. For the most part tragic stories of the abuse of women living in remote rural areas remains untold.
The statistics around the daily occurrence of violence against women and children is well-known. Yet as we emerge from women’s month, nothing has changed. Women and children are brutalised daily.
It is high time that the national Government gets serious about protecting the most vulnerable in society. The perpetrators must have the full might of the law brought down on them.
Equally places like police stations need to be safe havens, meaning that the necessary counselling must be on hand and officers must be properly briefed on how to process such complaints. Too often women are turned away, only to be sent to an early grave.
However, this is not only the responsibility of government. Each and every South African has the responsibility to raise their boys to treat women with equal humanity and dignity. We all have the responsibility to be vigilant and to help those who are victims of domestic abuse or child abuse.
Only by acting together can we hope to have any chance of finally bringing an end to this ongoing brutalisation of women and children.