Pietermaritzburg women march against injustice

HUNDREDS of Pietermaritzburg women joined the rest of the country in protesting against gender-based violence last Wednesday.

Shocking statistics were highlighted during the #TotalShutdown march, such as the fact that Lifeline tends to the emotional and physical well-being of up to 300 rape survivors across the city every month.

Director of Lifeline Sinkiwe Biyela said that many of the survivors were young people, adding: “We are here today to make a stand and say that we have had enough. Something must be done to stop our females from being hurt.”

Women from far and wide took part in the march, taking their demands to the offices of the Pietermaritzburg Legislature where they handed over a memorandum seeking to end all open court hearings for rape survivors, also demanding that all rape survivors be accompanied by a counsellor during court hearings.

However, the march ended on a sour note as many of the women in the group felt undermined when provincial legislature deputy speaker Meshack Radebe was on hand to collect the memorandum.

“We feel as though being addressed by a man after marching against men is wrong and we do not wish to conform to a man,” said deputy president of the student representative council at the university, Lindiwe Mkhize.