GBV under spotlight as outgoing minister encourages men to stand up

GBV under spotlight as outgoing minister encourages men to stand up

GBV under spotlight as outgoing minister encourages men to stand up

Published Mar 13, 2024


The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD), through its Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has reiterated its call for all South African men to stand and fight the scourge of rape and gender-based violence (GBV) by taking part in the 365 Days of no Violence against Women and Children campaign.

“It is critical that as a country and society, we encourage men to take action in denouncing the continuation of the trend of rape and violence against women and children, while equally addressing the underlying causes of violent masculinity and physical abuse against women and children,” the minister said.

The words of the outgoing minister were made a reality this past weekend by a group of musicians and other stakeholders who gathered at the Kwa-Thema Society for the Care of the Aged, in Ekurhuleni, for their own contribution to the scourge of GBV.

This gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) fight formed part of a collaboration between the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the Music Performers Association of South Africa (MPASA) as they joined hands to respond to the scourge under the dialogue titled, “Awuyeke!”.

This impactful GBVF dialogue, which coincided with the International Women’s Day commemoration, was attended by more than 300 community members, including older persons, youth and stakeholders.

Legend Blondie Makhene, kwaito musician Joe Nina, Stephen Tsie and Babsy Mlangeni entertained and spoke to some of the victims of GBV.

A renowned entertainer, Mlangeni shared his moving story in a jam-packed hall.

Addressing them about GBVF and his poignant tail, the 81-year-old said that he has been blind since the age of three.

“Many people are whining about load shedding; I have experienced it since I was toddler,” he shared.

He added that he was bullied by his peers who called him derogatory names, but every time he retaliated, he was beaten.

“I suffered GBV from a young age, but I thank God my parents never kept me away from the community, they gave me unconditional love. It wasn’t my mother’s dream to give birth to a blind child.”

He clarified that the thing that most disturbed him was that women with disabilities still struggle to file charges of sexual offences since the police frequently ask, “How do you know so and so raped you because you can’t see?”

He claimed that despite the victims’ explanations that they can recognise their attackers by voice, police reject them out of disbelief. “We are human beings just like you; the only thing that separates us is that we have disabilities,“ he said.

Tsietsi Malema, the provincial head of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) Gauteng office, inaugurated the dialogue, encouraging attendees to actively participate and engage throughout the day.

With a focus on GBV services, the DoJ&CD provided a comprehensive overview of its initiatives. Malema encouraged young people not to abuse their grandparents financially, mentally and emotionally.

“We have heard many stories where young people went as far as killing their grandparents. If you are a neighbour and witness GBVF, go report it,” Malema said, adding that men should be also responsible fathers and pay maintenance for their children.

The Star