GroundUp (Cape Town)

13 February 2013

South Africa: Nyanga Residents March Against Man Who Posted Nude Pictures of Woman On Facebook

Photo: GCIS
South Africans Standing Up Against Rape

A group of women marched to a house in Mau-Mau, Nyanga, to confront a man they accuse of posting nude pictures of a woman, his girlfriend, on Facebook.

The woman's face can be seen clearly in the two pictures. Since last week when the pictures surfaced, many people have been searching her on Facebook to catch a glimpse of the indecent exposure. The photographs have since been removed.

Asanda Yiyo, a Nyanga resident who participated in the march, said they started marching at 11am on Saturday. There were about 50 of them, with men also participating. Yiyo said the woman was notified about the pictures by her friends after they had seen them on Facebook. "When they phoned the woman's cellphone, her boyfriend answered."

"We marched to her boyfriend's house, we stood there outside and told him to come out, but he never did. We then marched to the Nyanga police station where we demanded that a van accompany us to the man's house and arrest him, but we were told that a case had already been opened. We did the march for support and to show the guy that what he did was unacceptable. Had the guy come out when we went to his place, we wouldn't have done anything because we all agreed that there would be no violence. We probably would have taken him to the police station", explained Yiyo.

When GroundUp contacted the woman, the calls went unanswered. But a resident who does not stay far from the her in Nyanga said she still sees her walking the streets and is not letting this situation bring her down.

The South African Police Service confirmed that cases of housebreaking, theft and crimen injuria were opened against 21 year-old Simthandile Gawulayo. He has been arrested and appeared in Wynberg Magistrate Court on 11 February.

Many people use their cellphones to circulate pictures and videos that involve sexual activities. This happens especially between youths.

Violence against women

According to the Sonke Gender Justice Network, the current levels of violence against women in South Africa are a national crisis and typical responses are no longer adequate. It is not time to call for vengeful and short-cut solutions. The organisation called on the National Commissioner of Police, the President of the country, the Minister of Justice, and the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities to institute a national commission of inquiry on violence against women. They have recommended this to be a joint initiative of government, civil society and communities, with a mandate to create and support a special fund to end violence against women.

Tomorrow Sonke will be taking part in the One Billion Rising campaign which is a call to action based on the statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during their lifetime.

Sonke is organising a dawn ceremony on Table Mountain, and inviting people to join in the "Break the Chain" dance. Bathabile Dlamini, Minister of Social Development, will be at the ceremony. There will also be performances of the dance at Sonke's Cape Town office and Cape Town station.

Sonke's Government and Media Relations Manager Mbuyiselo Botha said: "We call on men and boys especially to hold one another accountable for their actions in the public and private spheres. We must say enough is enough."

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