Media Statement by Thandi Nontenja, UDEMWO Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) is saddened and concerned by the growing numbers of women and children who have fallen victims of rape and murder in the Western Cape since the beginning of the year. What is more distressing is to know that these women and children are victims of crime in the hands of those close to them or someone they know.

The time has come for the communities at large to come together and put an end to these horrendous crimes. We cannot continue living in fear as women in our very own space. It is time that men come to senses and do the role of protecting us. Abuse of women; children or anybody who is a victim must not be a norm. South Africans can win this battle if we come together.

As for the Department for Women, the silence in relations to issues affecting women is too deafening. Why is Minister Suzan Shabangu not saying or condemning these crimes. How many women and children must fall victim before more could be done. The government must acknowledge that the country is in crisis and more needs to be done. The government must take the nation into confidence regarding a strategy to combat the killing of women in the Western Cape.

The recent killing of Sizeka Batala from Mfuleni, Sinoxolo Mafevuka, Franziska Blöchliger, Shamonique Claasen from Paarl and all those who were not on the news has raised so much concern and government must make a swift intervention.