KwaZulu-Natal — Acting Premier Ravi Pillay has condemned the brutal attack of a woman whose arm was hacked off with a machete, allegedly by her boyfriend.
The 35-year-old woman from uMkhuze in northern KwaZulu-Natal had her arms chopped off and her skull cracked during an attack. The gruesome attack was witnessed by her two-year-old child.
Pillay visited the victim, who is a school teacher, at a private hospital in Durban last week where she was being treated for her multiple wounds.
In a statement, Pillay's office said that apart from having her left arm completely severed, she also suffered deep cuts that left her right arm hanging by a piece of tissue. There were eight wounds on her head, one of which fractured her skull.
"We are grateful that she is alive and I want to thank the medical team for some excellent work. From my observation it required very quick and skilful action to save the one hand but it does not take away the absolute horror of the attack.
"This is another case of brutal violence against women -- we have to condemn it unreservedly. We clearly need to intensify the campaign. Yes, it is still the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children but as our own articulation says it has to be 365 days and more," Pillay said.
Pillay said that social workers from the Department of Social Development have been dispatched to offer support and counselling to the woman's three children.
"We need to care for her now. There are three children and the youngest of the children might have witnessed the attack itself and social workers are on their way to be with the family. In fact, when I asked her what we could do to help that was her first concern and we will do whatever we can to extend that support to her," the Acting Premier said.
He added that the attack on the woman clearly demonstrated that no woman is exempt from gender-based violence.
He called on all members of society to provide support to those they suspect might be vulnerable to such crimes.
"We urge those who are within the close circles of victims to speak out early and end domestic silence. Enough is enough. Let's end abuse of women and children," Pillay said.
This year's 16 Days of Activism Campaign is being observed under the theme "Enough is enough - 365 days to end Gender-Based Violence and Femicide".
The 365 days refers to South Africa's commitment to a year-round campaign to eradicate gender-based violence and femicide, through constant activism.