The following speech will be delivered in Parliament’s Debate on Violence and Criminality today. Please note that the speech is under embargo until delivery.
Between 28 and 37 % of adult men reported having raped a woman. Most men who rape do so for the first time as teenagers.
55 rape complaints against police officers were investigated in the six months between April to September 2018.
Out of every 1 000 suspected rape perpetrators referred for prosecution:
- 370 have at least one prior felony conviction;
- 520 will be released- either because they posted bail or for other reasons while awaiting trial; and
- 70 of the released perpetrators will be arrested for committing another or similar sexual assault crime.
I am starting off with these stats to highlight that gender-based violence is more prevalent in societies where there is a culture of violence and where male superiority is treated as the norm.
These men have no identifying marks. They are somebody’s son, brother, husband, father and leader.
These are men like Mark Zinde, Oscar Pistorious, Sandile Mantsoe, Nicholas Ninow and Motimer Saunders. They show that gender-based violence is not limited to one race, religion or cultural group. These acts of violence are conducted by men and it should be condemned by men.
Societies free of gender-based violence do not exist, and South Africa is no exception. The recent violence against women in our country are the most de-humanizing gender oppression.
Women are paying the ultimate price in our country.
In 2018/19, 2 930 women were murdered in South Africa, meaning every 3 hours a woman is murdered.
110 rapes are reported daily.
South Africa’s femicide rate is 5 times higher than the global average – one in every 5 women have experienced violence at the hands of a partner.
When a child rapist is released due to lack of evidence, a daughter dies in a post office, a boxing star dies with a restraining order in hand, a mother is murdered in front of her child and a grandmother is murdered gruesomely on her farm, questions need to be asked, by what extent is law enforcement able to ignore the steps they need to take to prevent and prosecute these crimes.
Mr. President it is concerning to note that the National Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Strategic Plan has not been finalised and that there is no budget allocation to address gender-based violence in the Ministry of Women, Youth and People Living with Disabilities.
We should put our money where our mouths are and have the political will to address the scourge of gender-based violence. It is time that we as leaders in this House exercise our power by addressing the gaps in legislation dealing with sexual offenses against our most vulnerable. It is us in this House that should not falter in our oversight mandate to ensure that never again will police stations be without rape kids and it is us that should ensure our education, health and justice systems are capacitated to deal with gender-based violence.
Mr. President your interventions mentioned are noble in dealing with GBV, however, we have heard this story before – a plan without action remains just that a plan.
Enough is enough …. time for action is now!
Backlashes against movements such as Am I next? And Men are Trash will not deter women.
We are tired of being undervalued and disregarded.
Women will not apologise and we will not be silenced. We are paving the way for the next generation of women and girls to never experience this level of horrific violence we do.
Uyinene, Leighandre, Angelique, Jess, Reeva, Karabo and Kwezi – the echoing of your voices will not be silenced! We will fight for an equal, free and just South Africa!
Wathinta abafazi, wathinta imbokodo!