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Soweto residents sign pledge to fight gender-based violence Print E-mail
01 June 2017

The City of Johannesburg is to hold a series of community dialogues in all its seven regions over the next few months in a bid to find solutions to the gender-based violence afflicting communities.

Gender-based violence was brought into sharp focus again in May after 22-year-old Karabo Mokoena of Diepkloof, Soweto, was murdered, allegedly by her boyfriend, who also reportedly dumped her body in the veld and burnt it.

The gruesome and chilling murder was followed by a spate of killings of women and children across the country, evoking angry reactions from communities, which demanded that action be taken to stop the violence.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba announced the move to hold dialogues on the scourge at the end of an imbizo on the same issue at Phiri Community Hall in Soweto, Region D, on Wednesday May 31.

The imbizo was held under the theme: “Let’s Talk Jozi on Gender Violence.”

Scores of Soweto residents attended the imbizo, which brought together representatives of non-governmental organisations such as People Opposed to Women Abuse (POWA) and Rise and Shine, South African Police Service, Johannesburg Metro Police Department and other formations. All the participants in the imbizo signed a pledge to fight gender-based violence.

“I’m encouraged by the attendance. Region D was chosen for this imbizo because of recent murders of young women in Soweto and elsewhere. We’ve changed the tune to include youth participation as we tackle these social ills. It’s everyone’s responsibility to find solutions,” she said.

MMC Sifumba commended the SAPS, JMPD and other stakeholders for their participation. The rallying call was for unity and the return to ubuntu.

The MMC said communities needed to tackle the root causes of the violence and stop pointing fingers.

“We’re in big trouble. We’re in a crisis. But we can overcome this the same way we overcame apartheid. Don’t blame men only. Women are powerful enough to influence change. Communities must act together. Don’t turn a blind eye to crime such as drug abuse. Mothers, let’s not protect our daughters when they’re behaving badly. Let’s not condone sugar daddies. Fathers, children need a moral compass. This starts in the home where they’re taught the right things,” she said.

Orelia Mlambo, of POWA encouraged abused women to use services that her organisation offered at the Thuthuzela Centre at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. POWA also offers outreach programmes.

Colonel Patrick Jaca, the JPMD's Deputy Director in Region D, encouraged locals to report every crime to the police.

Ntokozo Simelani, 18, blamed young men’s bad behaviour on music and media influence. He said unemployment among men and young women’s reluctance to report abuse to the police were also not helping in the fight against gender-based violence.

Rise and Shine activist Moitshepi Legodi called on parents to pay more attention to their children, especially boys.

“Let’s start in the family … Let’s teach our boys how to treat women. Fathers must lead by example. What went wrong black people? We’re no longer parenting our kids. Kids grow up very angry,” said Legodi.


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Last Updated on 01 June 2017