gender violence national crisis ACDP

Photo: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

ACDP admonishes MPs for heckling each other during a national crisis

Gender-based violence has been declared a national crisis and the ACDP have called for unity in the debate to find a solution.

gender violence national crisis ACDP

Photo: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) member of Parliament (MP) Marie Sukers begged her peers to put petty politics aside during the debate on the national crisis of gender-based violence and femicide that has gripped South Africa.

Gender-based violence a national crisis

MPs who spoke before Parliament were unanimous in their condemnation of violence against women in this country and agreed that a solution needed to be found as a matter of urgency.

Minister of Women Maite Nkoana-Mashabane declared the situation a crisis.

“It’s a national crisis. It’s no longer just another shameful act that we read about. Where are safe spaces for women in this country? Do we still have them?

“If a home is not a space for a young girl, where else will be her sanctuary? We must invest in prevention programmes where love and respect are included and inculcated in our children.

“Unfortunately, most of our homes are war zones and domestic violence has reached endemic proportions, and we urgently need interventions in many families.”

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

According to Nkoana-Mashabane, at least 30 women were killed during August which is celebrated as “Women’s month” in South Africa.

MPs slammed for heckling each other during debate

However, MPs were often heckled by members of opposition parties while they were speaking – particularly between the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

The ACDP’s Sukers did not hold back in her criticism of the behaviour of her peers during a national crisis and questioned their ability as leaders.

“If this can happen in this parliament while our country is burning, then there’s a big crisis. It’s a crisis of leadership, not for one party but for all of us. We need to give leadership to our people. Our people are terrified,” Sukers said.

“How can we, as women in the middle of a debate, raise our voices and heckle like that? Our people deserve better from us.”

Marie Sukers

Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise agreed and called for unity in a time of national crisis.

“Honourable members, the honourable Sukers is right. This is not a moment where we divide ourselves. This is the moment where we focus on a national problem, where we find one another and find solutions, and we just conduct that,” she said.

“We have failed to protect. We were given the responsibility to protect, to guide, to nurture, and bad things happened,” she said.

Thandi Modise