Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has called on law enforcement authorities to leave no stone unturned in bringing to book those who continue to kill women and girls.
The Minister’s call comes after the death of 34-year-old Tankiso Tawanyana from Kimberley, Northern Cape, who was allegedly raped by three men, who doused her with paraffin before setting her alight last week Friday. Tawanyana succumbed to her injuries on Saturday.
On Sunday, the police were also called to Johannesburg central after complaints of a foul smell coming from a warehouse, where the bodies of six women were discovered.
Nkoana-Mashabane said women, children and young girls in South Africa are not safe, and that gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) reflects a “broken and fragmented” society.
“The past few days have been a tragic reminder that the pandemic of GBVF continues to rob women of their basic human right to life and dignity,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
She said the pervasiveness of GBVF in society is also due to a number of factors, including patriarchy, strict reinforcement of gender roles and hierarchy, economic exclusion of women, socio-economic inequality, cultural and religious norms, and toxic masculinity.
Above all, she said, the violence by men enacted on the bodies of women and girls is fuelling this pandemic.
The Minister urged the police to continue to search for the perpetrators and bring those responsible to book.
“Tankiso Tawanyana and the six women found must have justice served. The law must take its course but in cases of this nature, the justice system must show no mercy when sentencing these perpetrators.
“These perpetrators must receive harsh punishment for their crimes, as there is no place in society for them,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
The Minister sent her heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
In the next 20 days, government will hold the Presidential GBVF Summit 2, which will provide an opportunity for feedback and accountability, and also call those tasked with implementation to account where enough is not done.
Source: South African Government News Agency