Materialistic children blind to signs of abuse - Dlamini

Johannesburg - South Africa's materialistic children are unable to see when they are being abused, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Friday.

"Our children are growing up in a different time than we did. They love money. Our children are materialistic. Our children can't see when they are being abused psychologically, emotionally.

"Once someone abuses you emotionally, they break you. You are finished. It lowers your confidence," Dlamini said at the funeral of Karabo Mokoena in Diepkloof on Friday morning.

Dlamini, who is also the African National Congress Women's League president, said men had to be told that the violence against women and children had to end.

She said minimum sentences for such crimes were too lenient and could easily be manipulated. The fact that Mokoena's alleged killer, Sandile Mantsoe, claimed to have a good relationship with and love for God could be used to get him a lesser sentence, or early parole, she said.

READ: 'Men, this must come to an end' - Bathabile Dlamini at Karabo Mokoena's funeral

Femicide

Mokoena's burnt body was found in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, on April 29. Mantsoe allegedly physically abused her. She had opened an assault case against him.

Dlamini said she was against the use of the hashtag MenAreTrash on Twitter.

"But those who are not trash must stand up and say: 'Not in our name,'" she said to applause and cheers.

The speakers agreed the hashtag was both prophetic and divisive, but would only lead to a generation of "trash men".

PICTURES: Funeral of Karabo Mokoena

Dlamini said statistics on the number of women killed by men in SA were indications of femicide in the country. She recounted the abuse, assaults, rapes, and killings of black lesbians in townships.

Minister in the Presidency for Women, Susan Shabangu, spoke about some of the horrific experiences of women and children at the hands of men, sometimes men they trusted.

The theme of men protecting women had been fuelled by several recent attacks on and murders of women and children. This was not the freedom many had fought for.

Women's anger at men was justified. Women and children no longer felt safe in the streets, or at home, she said.