The PSI South African Young Workers Committee has released a statement about the recent disturbing developments of disappearances, kidnappings, killings and general aggression against young women in South Africa. We must all work together to break the silence and mobilise against gender-based violence and the violation of women’s rights in our workplaces and societies.
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PSI Young Workers have noted with concern the increasing number of rape and murder cases of young women or girl children in the country, and what is more concerning is that these ill-behaviours are at the hands of those who are closely known/related to the victims, and who are supposed to be the ones protecting the them. These barbaric acts further demonstrate the loss of the moral compass of South African society, as well as glaring poverty of leadership with the requisite amounts of integrity and morals.
In honouring the spirit of “Khwezi”, Karabo Mokoena and many other young women and children who are missing and or killed, we call on all the political parties to redirect their energy and be united in a fight against this epidemic that intends to undermine the safety and security of young women and children in South Africa. It is our view that the same amounts of energy spent by our public figures or political leaders in fighting for political scoring needs to be redirected to assist the country in reducing the sexual offences in South Africa, that have risen to above 20% or more than the reported 3.2% 2015/2016 and also help in ensuring that all cases of sexual offences are reported.
We also call on the churches to take up the podium in fighting against sexual exploitation of women in churches under the pretence of religion and expose these immoral acts, because churches must be the ones upholding moral values more than any other institution. We also call on the churches to join the solidarity lines in fighting the senseless killings and/or rape of young women and children.
It is equally our expectation that all men of South Africa be part of the initiative of fighting this epidemic and be exemplary in reporting their friends when they are involved in domestic violence or in the senseless killing and/or rape of young women and children. We also urge all men who have a problem of domestic violence or are perpetrators of domestic violence to seek help before it’s too late.
While we appreciate that the constitution of this country guarantees legal representation rights to all who live in it and also that everyone remains innocent until proven guilty, but we the PSI Young Workers in South Africa call on the entire Legal System (Effective Prosecution from NPA) and Law Society of South Africa to take a stand against these perpetrators and especially those where glaring evidence is provided that they raped and/or killed.
We call on the Minister of Justice to ensure that all prosecutors expected to deal with “Sexual Violence” cases are fully capacitated in order to ensure successful prosecution of sexual offenders, increase on the conviction rate from 70.1% with possible 100% conviction and 7 098 cases finalised.
We are also aware of the bad experiences that some victims have when they report the cases of “Sexual Violence” at Police Stations, which should not be condoned as they have a negative effect on the number of cases of “Sexual Violence” reported and/or convicted. It is for that very reason that the South African Young Workers are calling on the Minister of Police to ensure that all our Police Officers are fully capacitated in dealing with such incidences and our Police Stations are well resourced in order to create an environment that will assist in reporting such cases.
We also support the Minister of Police in dealing with the lawlessness in South Africa and we agree that “Operation Wanya Tsotsi” must be intensified and become a reality in every corner of South Africa as a way to stop all those who think they have a right over our girl children and young women. The swift response of the South African Police Service in dealing with many of these cases it is appreciated and we are confident that our SAPS can do more.
It would have been amiss of the South African Young Workers not to call on the President of the Country to be the number one “Ambassador” of fighting the senseless killing and or raping of young women and children. We also call on the President to declare this epidemic a “National Tragedy” and institute a dedicated unit in dealing with this epidemic.
South African Young Workers in PSI
- Statement issued by PSI South African Young Workers (.pdf)
- PSI webpage on Ending violence against women