South Africa grapples with waves of Gender-based violence

South Africa grapples with waves of Gender-based violence

Is COVID19 the cause?

  • A recent surge in the numbers of Gender-based violence in South Africa has stoked public outcry and condemnation.
  • Cases of femicide have surged since the government on June 1 eased lockdown restrictions, including allowing the resumption of alcohol sales.
  • More than 52,000 sexual offenses were reported to the police in South Africa last year, as well as almost 42,000 rapes

 

|The body of a 28-year-old pregnant woman found hanging from a tree on the outskirts of Johannesburg has thrown light on a growing scourge more deadly than the Coronavirus.

The news of Gender based violence resurfaced on the media during the lockdown but a wave of mutilations and rape of women after the Lockdown in South Africa was lifted has put many in a quandary.

On Sunday, the mutilated body of a 42-year-old, allegedly stabbed by her partner, was discovered in the capital, Pretoria. On Monday, a man was due to appear in court in Cape Town after being arrested in connection with the murder of a 27-year-old woman and her seven-year-old daughter.

A National Crisis

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared gender-based violence a national crisis last year amid protests over the rape and murder at a post office of a 19-year-old University of Cape Town student. He’s vowed to develop a national strategy to fight the scourge and established a $355 million fund to help deal with sex offenses and other forms of violence against women over the next five years.

In a weekly message to South Africans on Monday, Ramaphosa said he was “deeply disturbed” by the latest “shocking acts of inhumanity.”

“We must strengthen our justice system, ensuring that perpetrators are brought to book, bail and parole conditions are tightened and that those sentenced to life spend the rest of their lives behind bars,” he said.

Much of the criticism on social media targeted the South African police, whose members attended the funeral of 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule to ensure physical-distancing rules were being enforced.

A binge on the local brew after a nine-week ban on the sale of alcohol has instigated domestic violence has perpetrators of GBV would rather cut off their tongues than stay sober.

“It’s been a difficult time as people are trapped in their houses and alcohol is making things worse,” said Itumeleng Moloko, a counseling manager at People Opposing Women Abuse, a Johannesburg-based rights group. “Women are murdered every day. We’re hoping that the national plan will get things right.”

Recently spates of killings and rape of women has been reported in West Africa and the murder of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a female microbiology student of the University of Benin Nigeria brought the scourge of a global crisis to the fore.

|According to the national plan to combat gender-based violence published earlier this year. The country ranks as one of the most violent in the world, with about 58 people murdered on average every day.