The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) commends the action of the young women who decided to speak out about allegations of harassment they have endured in the hands of the senior steward in the Pretoria Methodist Church. The bravery shown by the young girls gives hope that this country is in the right direction.
The country is still stunned by the revelation. The house of God is supposed to be a sacred place for the young and old and the Methodist Church is amongst the respected churches in the Southern Africa.
It is even saddening that the very people who are supposed to be protecting women and children are the ones accused of these horrific acts.
We were even shocked to see how ignorant women are when it comes to the sensitive issues. On the video that circulated on social media, you can see women singing and some are embarrassed by the actions of these young girls who were brave enough not to keep quiet. If the very same people who are under siege, which are women, are still protecting the perpetrators, how do we expect men to take us serious and value us.
We do not wish that anyone endures abuse but if it has not happened to you; do not rejoice when it happens to someone else. If it is not you today, it can be your sister or daughter tomorrow.
We cannot fold arms and watch while things are taking another turn. The Methodist Church has played a vital role in the apartheid era. We call upon the Church and all those involved to use the same power to get rid of the perpetrators.
We cannot be led by abusers in the house of God. The church must do away with the Omotoso tendencies.
To women, continue fighting for your place and speak out against abuse.
Statement issued by Thandi Nontenja – UDEMWO Secretary General