Women voice concerns

“Even if you are married, it is a wire that deems to be disregarded by men while women keep the vow of ‘until death do us part’.

“If you say ‘I do’ you do not say ‘I do’ to be a punching bag.”

That was the words of Tracy Mthukwane who urged women to step out of abusive marriages to protect their lives.

She was among the women who braced the cold on Thursday morning (09/08) to march to the Galeshewe Police Station to raise their voice against mild sentences on abusers.

Dressed in red and black, the women peacefully marched from the Galeshewe circle to the police station, handed over their memorandum to acting station commander Col Alexia Robertson, and then marched back to the circle to proceed with a candle light ceremony.

Women were also asked to support each other and speak up in support of women and children who are abused, raped, killed and assaulted on a daily basis.

The march was to display anger and dissatisfaction in the manner in which cases against gender-based violence are being handled.

They called on harsher sentences to be implemented by the Northern Cape provincial administration, the police and the judiciary system on perpetrators.

Reading from the memorandum, Mpho Assegaai deman­ded the full protection of women and children by all entities of state at all times.

They want the relaunching and revamping of the witness protection programme and the police’s call centre.

They also want registers of child molesters and sexual offenders to be made public and that bail for these offen­ders must be denied.

Assegaai called on members of society to stop the trend of taking videos and pictures at a crime scene for social media, instead of calling the police.

Mantwa Makoti felt blessed to be among the women who supported the march.

She hopes that the way forward is for women to break the silence of abuse and to report cases.

“This is our time as our constitution now protects us, unlike it used to be where women were abused and not allowed to spill the beans on their rotten marriages,” she said.

Kukie Nkomazana added that the impression that women were less and were expected to persevere, is a thing of the past.

“We want our daughters to know from a young age that no one was born to suffer in this land. God gave us all a life to live and be joyous,” she said.

“So, for someone else’s child to come from far and hurt you, is a no-no. It must stop with immediate effect.”

Nkomazana added that victims continue to be victimised over and over by the same perpetrators who are left to roam the street.

“If only police could understand what their delays are causing the victims.

“I must point out the reality that those men are our sons and they need our guidance.

“It leaves the question as to how we communicate to and raise our children. Do we tell them what they do is okay?

“Charity begins at home. You can never say that your son is old enough to make choices when he does wrong.

“As a mother you have to take the responsibility to teach your son to respect a women,” she lashed.

Maria Madebe raised concerns about what she regarded as slow response by police when they are called.

“The cases drag on forever until the victims give up and decide to withdraw the case.”

Bella Makhata urged all the good men out there to help their counterparts grow as individuals.

“Re kopa lo dirise menyetla eo ha lo kopana ko dipotong le ko dibolong go bua ka maikarabelo a tlhokomelo ya bomme. (“Use those opportunities at your social gatherings on how to protect wo­men”),” she added sternly.