root - February 28, 2023

Organisations unite to fight gender-based violence

Women from Dunoon, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and Atlantis march through Dunoon

“We know what is happening,” say activists

Peter Luhanga 

In an effort to combat gender-based violence and provide information to help victims, about 50 people – mostly women – marched from the Dunoon taxi rank to Parklands on Friday 24 February.

The participants were from four different non-profit organisations (NPOs) across the city, being Ilitha LaBantu from Gugulethu, Khumbulani from Khayelitsha, Dunoon Women for Gender Equity, and Thethanathi Mngani from Witsand in Atlantis. 

Accompanied by a police and city law enforcement motorcade, the group marched along Usasaza Street, to Dumani Street, to Inkwenkwezi Secondary School, making a u-turn at the Dunoon municipal hall and proceeding to Parklands along the Main Road.

The march under the banner ###Uthuleleni saw the participants distributing pamphlets explaining the various organisations’ aims and the services they offered in the townships, such as one-on-one counseling to victims of gender-based violence, family intervention, and mediation.

To the tune of Bob Marley’s ‘three little birds’ playing from a public broadcast system set up on a van following the marchers, a man leading the march shouted slogans and warnings through the streets, such as: “men who are not embarrassed and have sexual intercourse with our children must leave Dunoon”, and “down with sexual predators in Dunoon”.

Secretary for the Dunoon Women and Gender Equity non-profit organisation, Nomvuso Mukumela, said they teamed up with the other nonprofit organisations in order to create awareness about gender-based violence and let people know that there are organisations that can help.

Mukumela said she urged people to report cases of gender-based violence to the police. 

She said the police had told them women often withdrew cases of gender-based violence, making it difficult to arrest perpetrators.

“SAPS is not our enemy,” she said.

Referring to the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence that occurs in December, Mukumela said their march did not have to fall on a specific date or month as gender-based violence happened every day. 

“People continue to rape children… we decided to gather together to say enough is enough.”

She said they proceeded to march in Parklands to let residents know they are aware of gender-based violence taking place in the area.

“We’re marching to Parklands. We want them [Parklands residents] to know that we are aware of what is happening there,” said Mukumela.

Nolufefe Mbombo from Thethanathi Mngani NPO in Witsand, Atlantis, said the state must stop recognising the rights of perpetrators of gender-based violence, always granting them bail after they were arrested. 

Mbombo said the participating NPOs wanted parents and children to report anything related to gender-based violence, whether it was perpetrated by teachers, uncles, or any family member.

“Men must stop gender-based violence because it destroys the soul of their victims and it also destroys the victims physically,” said Mbombo.

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