We, the undersigned wish to remind the President, Mr Ramaphosa that the Constitution of our country provides that Parliament has an obligation to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights. This includes the right to freedom and security of persons, which includes the right to be free from violence.
Regardless of the existence of the release of the National Strategic Plan, and the continuous efforts of Women’s Rights’ Organisations, there has been absolutely no reprieve from the slaughter of women.
Data from the South African Police Service indicates that sexual offences and rape increased by 13% between 2017/2018 and 2021/2022. Between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 there was a 52% increase in the murder of women, and 46% increase in the number of children murdered.
The Constitution also calls on Members of Parliament (MPs) to swear to obey, respect and uphold the Constitution and other laws of South Africa. This means that all MPs must ensure that our rights are fulfilled and upheld, including ensuring that we do not experience violence. However, the Minister of Safety and Security, Bheki Cele, the very person who is entrusted to ensure that the vulnerable are protected from violent monsters, endorsed the violation of those rights when told a lady that she was lucky she was raped only once. Any hope of women feeling safe, walking freely at any time, enjoying a night out with friends were totally shattered.
It is time to end the endless commissions, discussions and summits, Mr President. While you spend time talking, women in South Africa, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal are being murdered. Every single day reveals more murder and rape. Every single day, women leave their homes with uncertainty and fear.
We don’t want to hear your plans. We want to see justice for women!