Image via: Adobe Stock
Image via: Adobe Stock
The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has announced that a National Council for Gender-Based Violence and Femicide will be established.
The establishment of the council comes at a crucial time when South Africa is, once again, battling the scourge of Gender-Based Violence in its communities.
In the last week, two women by the names of Tshegofatso Pule and Naledi Phangindawo were brutally murdered.
As part of the government’s constant intervention to fight the scourge of Gender-Based Violence, the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) held its 2nd virtual meeting on 4 June — the same day Pule was last seen alive.
“The main purpose of this meeting was to deliberate on processes for the establishment of the National Council for Gender-Based Violence and Femicide and will support the IMC to fast-track this work,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.
The IMC comprises of the Ministers of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Police; Finance; Justice and Correctional Services; Social Development; Public Service and Administration.
“It is incumbent for the IMC to move with speed and urgently establish the National Council for Gender-Based Violence & Femicide which will be tasked with the implementation of the NSP, and take recommendations made at the 2018 Presidential Summit against GBVF forward,” she added.
According to the minister, the national council will be an independent and non-partisan advisory body and will provide strategic leadership in implementing the NSP, facilitate resourcing, coordination and accountability in responding to Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
“The NSP is government and civil society’s multi-sectoral strategic framework to realise a South Africa free from gender-based violence and femicide,” she said.
“Government will do everything possible to ensure justice is served and calls upon men in our society to stand up against Gender-Based Violence. Violence against women and children is unacceptable and we should not allow vile tendencies to continue during such a difficult time for the country, or ever,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.
Tshegofatso Pule, who went missing on 4 June, was found stabbed and hanging from a tree in the veld in Roodeport. Pule was 8 months pregnant at the time of her death.
According to a relative of the family, it is alleged that Tshegofatso was last seen entering a cab called for her by her boyfriend.
Tshego’s murder comes at a moment when South Africans are also seeking justice for Naledi Phangindawo, who was allegedly hacked to death by her boyfriend.
“This is just saddening and is a shame on our society. We should never allow gender-based violence to become a norm in our communities. How many more women, young girls and children must live with this constant fear of being attacked and violated? Women should not have to protect themselves from men. They have the right to feel safe,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.
“The continual brutal killing of women and children at the hands of those they love is despicable and deplorable. This calls for heightened responsiveness, greater awareness and practical measures to assist women who find themselves in vulnerable situations,” she added.