South Africa: Reflections On the Intersection of Gendered Violence and Corruption in an Election Year

As South Africa prepares for the elections on 29 May, and political parties rally behind their manifestos full of promises of change, it is important for us as the citizenry to reflect on gender-based violence. This week, Corruption Watch released its annual report which includes a focus on the intersection of corruption and gender-based violence.

The deeply entrenched gender-based violence (GBV) in our society invites an important question: where is the will of South Africa's political leadership to address not only the high levels of GBV, but also the extent to which they are affected by power dynamics and vulnerabilities brought about by corruption in the law enforcement sector?

Reality vs priority

Corruption Watch receives a significant number of complaints that relate to impropriety by the police. Among these are reports that highlight the vulnerability of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community at the hands of those in the criminal justice system. The incidents of abuse of power, sextortion and other crimes alleged by reporters may be isolated, but viewed collectively, they paint a picture of the distortion of power against these groups relative to their vulnerability.

Furthermore, they occur in an environment that enables their prevalence due to the misalignment of strategies in dealing with this challenge. According to political parties, GBV and corruption are separate issues. By treating them as such, to the detriment of vulnerable sectors in our communities, politicians are missing the opportunity to rectify a culture of abuse of power and negligence in the criminal justice system.

An academic...

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.