17 July 2017

South Africa: Gender-Based Violence and the Return to Kwamuhle


Unfortunately, in free South Africa today, there are men who have assumed the role of KwaMuhle apparatchiks, humiliating women sexually, physically, economically and psychologically.

There was a time in colonial and apartheid South Africa when a variety of bigoted measures such as the Group Areas Act and the Natives Administration Act were used to control the movement of Africans and all aspects of their being.

During this time of oppression, African men in particular would be demeaned by being stripped naked so that white men could inspect their genitalia to check for venereal diseases. "Reception" places like KwaMuhle in Durban were notorious for this emasculation of African men who migrated to the cities in search of livelihoods. They would present themselves at KwaMuhle for special permits and health clearance to live and work in the city.

It was well understood that places like KwaMuhle represented invasion of privacy, harassment and dismemberment from the human race. Men left these places without dignity, even if with permits and passbooks in hand.

Unfortunately, in free South Africa today, there are men who have assumed the role of those KwaMuhle apparatchiks.

These are men who are turning our streets into no-go areas. The humiliation...

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