Some non-governmental organisations campaigning against women abuse and GBV believe the implementation of policies and legislation to protect women and children from their abusers is key to swiftly curbing gender-based violence in South Africa.
While they praise the country for having good policies and legislation to fight GBV, they have criticised the government for slow implementation.
Last month, an independent data company, Statista, published a report indicating that in 2022, South Africa ranked first in countries with high crime levels on the African continent.
Women in South Africa live with the grim reality that they could, one day, be part of the ever-increasing GBV statistics. Police crime statistics indicated that nearly 11 000 cases of rape were reported in the first quarter of 2022.
In 2020 when the national lockdown was implemented, more than 120 000 GBV cases were recorded in the country in just the first three weeks.
“We also have quite a pervasive rape culture within the country; how we feel about women and how we are treating women is very telling. So, rape culture is a major contributor to the attitudes that a lot of abusers and perpetrators have towards women and girl children. And then, of course, we have the usual suspects which are poverty and inequality and those are prevalent almost everywhere. And in South Africa those have to be taken into context and with our history, the state of the world being right now and also the high levels of unemployment,” says POWA Legal Manager, Naledi Kuali.
In Setlagole village, near Mahikeng, a 32-year-old mother of three, Refilwe Dithobiso was allegedly killed by her 58-year-old boyfriend, with whom she had a 20-month-old baby.
“She was our unifier. She was our crazy one in the family and we accepted her the way she was. She was very handy. Whenever we had family gatherings or funerals, she would be the one making sure that everything is running smoothly. We miss her,” says the victim’s aunt, Dominah Dithobiso.
Years of convincing Refilwe to leave her boyfriend, whom the family viewed as abusive were all in vain.
“We always told her to leave this man because he abuses her, and she would say there will be no one who will provide for her because she depended on him financially as she was unemployed,” Dominah Dithobiso adds.
Her partner, Fannie Moilwa is expected to make a second appearance at the Setlagole Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in Orkney near Klerksdorp, a 34-year-old African National Congress (ANC) member of parliament, Sibusiso Kula, is facing charges for the murder of his wife, Jennifer Mohlomi-Kula.
In Mahikeng, the partially burnt body of a 29-year-old mother of one, Rorisang Baakwalanya from Kuruman in the Northern Cape, was found dumped in Lokaleng village last week.
No arrests have been made yet. Naledi Kuali of Powa says low and slow rates of arrest also contribute to the increase in GBV cases.
“We also have a low rate of conviction and arrests for perpetrators of violence. This really speaks to capacity, but it also speaks to attitudes. So, the more likely you are to get away with something, the more likely you are to do it,” Kuali adds.
Families of victims want justice for their loved ones.
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com