Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has appealed to men to stop the brutal killing of women and children.
The Minister’s appeal follows reports of six cases of murder by an alleged serial killer that could be on the loose in KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast.
“This barbaric act is a persistent shame to our society, especially during the month of August when the country should be embracing women`s rights,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said on Thursday.
In the last six months, six bodies of women were found within the same area in KwaZulu-Natal.
Three bodies were found in sugarcane fields in the province between April and July.
Two bodies were found in sugarcane fields at Mnamfu in April and the third woman’s body was also found in a sugarcane field in Nomakhanzana in July.
On Wednesday afternoon, a fifth decomposing body of a woman was found in the Mthwalume area.
She was found with her chest open and she was covered with a scarf and appeared to have been strangled.
A case of murder has been opened for investigation.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane appealed to the investigating task team to work around the clock to ensure that the perpetrator(s) of these gruesome murders are arrested.
Nkoana-Mashabane pleaded with communities to work together with the police in finding the perpetrators of the gruesome murders.
“The day men decide to stop the brutal killing and raping of women and children, there will be no gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide. As we commemorate Women’s Month, we must dismantle toxic masculinity and its impact on women and girls, which underpins gender-based violence and the brutal killing of women and girls,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.
“We must unpack what it means to be a real man so that men play a meaningful role in empowering women changing their own behaviour and breaking of stereotypes, towards the goal of and the achievement of gender equality,” she said.
Meanwhile, the department will engage the Department of Social Development to follow through on psychosocial support for all affected families.
“We do know that not all men are bad but at the same time we cannot blame women and children for losing trust in men.”
“Whether you consider yourself to be a good man or a responsible father, the fact is that women continue to experience abuse at the hands of those who claim to love them, and they associate you with abuse and pain,” she said.
GBV and femicide must be a conversation within families and communities.
“We need you to be a change agent, bringing about behaviour change in your homes and in your communities. This must be from the ground up and as a collective, men must denounce any form of violence or degrading behaviour towards women and children,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za