South Africa: Gender Based Violence & Femicide (GBV&F) is an act of brutality directed at a person that affects a particular gender disproportionately. This pandemic has taken the country like wild fire, and it has been considered a serious concern to the safety and freedom of women and children in our communities.
The North West MEC for the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management, Sello Lehari, led the Gender-Based Violence & Femicide awareness campaign in Letlhabile in Madibeng Local Municipality which is high rocketing in GBV&F cases according to the statistics.
Letlhabile Police Station ranked 15 out of 85 police stations in the province according to various criminal cases recorded thus far. “South African Police Service (SAPS) is working hard to combat or reduce GBV&F in Letlhabile and surrounding areas, but our community members who are victims make it difficult for police, prosecutors and courts to execute their duties properly by withdrawing cases after certain agreements with perpetrators.
After the withdrawal of the abuse, rape and murder case, perpetrators repeated the same criminality again and turned the country into a lawless society,” said MEC Sello Lehari when addressing community members of Letlhabile.
MEC Lehari further requested community members to come together to fight this pandemic that causes uncertainty to public safety and steals their freedom. He called all men and various associations to lead by example and be able to report anyone causing Violence or act of abuse towards women and children to law enforcement agencies in order to create a safe and conducive environment for everyone.
Gender-Based Violence comes in different forms, such as physical violence, verbal Violence, psychological Violence, Sexual Violence, socio-economic Violence, Domestic Violence or intimate relationships, harassment and sexual harassment and has no colour or race.
The Department coordinated various stakeholders in a District Development Model (DDM) requirement to halt the spread of GBV&F in the Bojanala District.
Stakeholders included the South African Police Service (SAPS), Department of Home Affairs, Department of Social Development, National Prosecuting Agency (NPA), Local Tribal Council, Community Policing Forum (CPF), Department of Correctional Service and Faith Based Organisations.
This Campaign will be taken to other districts of the province when the year unfolds. Recently released from prison, Mr Collen Madie said people take GBV cases lightly without realizing that these can lead to finding themselves facing charges of murder.
“It is highly possible that when you assault someone, the person can die, and you find yourself facing murder charges. People think life in prison is nice, but for the period I’ve spent in prison, it is a place that I will never wish for anyone to live in.
In reality, it is very difficult inside,” said the rehabilitated ex-offender.