18 February 2013

South Africa: CGE Concern At the Media Undertones Pertaining to Ms Reeva Steenkamp's Death

Photo: L'Express
Oscar Pistorius

press release

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is concerned at the way the death of Ms Steenkamp has been reported by some media organisations in a way that shifts attention away from the core issue of gender based violence, and seeks to focus attention on Mr Pistorius's iconic and role model status.

The consequence of this style of reporting is to present Ms Steenkamp's death as an unfortunate aberration rather than part of a broader pattern of gender-based violence in South Africa.

"Gender-based violence has reached alarming proportions in our country and such cannot be allowed to go on unabated". "Women and children are bearing the brunt of our violent society and Ms Steenkamp's death is no exception. As the CGE, we call upon all the law enforcers involved in the case to ensure that justice is served for both the victim and the alleged perpetrator", said Mr Mfanozelwe Shozi, Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality.

The death of Ms Steenkamp calls for a renewed vision in finding interventions that are geared in curbing the scourge of gender based violence. However, some of the bias media reporting places undue pressure at the Steenkamp family as if their loss is nothing as compared to the situation in which the alleged murderer, Mr Pistorius finds himself in.

As the court case gets underway tomorrow, the CGE appeals to the public to respect the judicial process and calm prevails. The Chairperson, Mr Mfanozelwe Shozi and the Deputy Chairperson, Ms Thoko Mpumlwana will be at the Pretoria Magistrate Court tomorrow to monitor the case.

Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality

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