Ms Thandi Nontenja

The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) is shaken by yet another murder, that of 4-year-old Uyathandwa Stuurman, in the Khayelitsha area.

A few months ago, it was reported that statistics show that more than 2 600 children were murdered in the country over the last three years, while 41% of rapes committed were against minors. These statistics shock to the core. Women are living in fear for their children on a daily basis.

UDEMWO condemns the minister of women in the presidency Bathabile Dlamini for her deafening silence. She does not seem to take her work seriously. We never see her; we never hear from her. Minister Dlamini might as well be a trophy in the president’s office that serves no purpose.

Why are the ruling party and its government so quiet about these matters? Why is gender violence a ceremonial topic during the 16 Days of Activism and Women’s Month?

It is a sad fact that women have lost faith in the organs of state which are supposed to protect them. We live in fear in our own societies and spaces. More often than not we know the rapists and killers in our communities and homes.

UDEMWO reiterates its belief that our legal system favours culprits; we believe the sentencing of the guilty are not harsh enough. Murderers and rapists must be put in jail and the key thrown away.

Issued by:
Ms Thandi Nontenja
UDEMWO Secretary General