South Africa: Parliament Calls for Plan of Action Necessary to Deal With Gender-Based Violence

press release

Plan of action necessary to deal with gender-based violence

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has called for a society wide social plan of action to fight the scourge of femicide prevalent in the country.

"The killing of women and children has long passed crisis proportions and requires commitment from all sectors of society to effectively win this fight. Time for talking is long gone, what is required now is firm action from everyone to stop this massacre," Ms Joemat-Pettersson said.

The brutal and senseless murder of Ms Uyinene Mrwetyana and Ms Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels is just a reminder of the violent society that we are and the fact that a concerted effort should be made to talk less and do more. "It is unacceptable that men continue to maim women with impunity and there are no associated consequences," Ms Joemat-Pettersson emphasised.

The South African criminal justice system as a whole must do more to ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous acts are brought to justice. To achieve this, the South African Police Service must ensure that investigations are watertight and perpetrators are given lengthy sentences for their crimes.

Meanwhile, the committee has denounced blatant acts of criminality that are continuing in Gauteng province. The committee considers the looting of shops as clear signs of criminality and perpetrators must be subjected to the full might of the law.

"It cannot be normal that people loot businesses nonchalantly without consequences. It is even more worrying that the chaos caused by this mass looting has led to the loss of life," Ms Joemat-Pettersson said.

The committee calls on the police to implement a comprehensive deployment plan, especially to hotspot areas, to stop this illegality from happening. The committee further condemns the element of xenophobia that has been prevalent in the looting. South Africa is obligated by international human rights law to safeguard the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. Furthermore, South Africa took a decision that refugees and asylum seekers must be integrated into society. The looting of shops undermines the decision to ensure human rights to asylum seekers and refugees.

The committee will in its future engagement with the police request a comprehensive plan to deal with acts of looting that are on the rise.

Issued by: Parliament of South Africa

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