South Africans are encouraged to speak out against abuse and report criminal cases to the police.
On Saturday, the country woke up to a hype of activities in various provinces to mark the launch of the annual campaign for 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children.
In Mpumalanga, Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality residents gathered in their numbers to expand their knowledge on issues related to human rights, gender based violence and the abuse of women and children.
Various government departments and State Owned Entities supplied residents with information prior to the commencement of the official programme.
Speaking to residents, Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said it is everyone’s responsibility to report incidents of abuse to the police.
She said if parents and community members do not report child abuse cases to the police, they are failing the wellbeing of the children.
“A child who did not get justice and counselling for undergoing trauma starts behaving in a weird manner. The pain sits with them…” said Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.
She said perpetrators should not be protected but reported so that the law can take its cause and justice can be served.
“Speak out against abuse. It is time for all of us to stand up, but we should refrain from taking the law into our own hands.”
The Minister also called on residents to be kind and more caring to people living with disabilities, adding that they deserve efficient services like everyone else.
Legislation to redress societal ills
Government has done a lot to combat abuse against women and children since 1994 such as developing several pieces of legislation to redress societal ills affecting them.
These include the prevention and combating of Trafficking in Persons which is aimed at fighting the trafficking of young girls and women, and also the practice of ukuthwala.
The Department of Communications, through its entity Films and Publications Board (FPB), has recently tabled a bill before parliament that seeks to protect cyber bullying against children.
Allow investigations to be conducted
Local police called on the community to allow investigations to be conducted without any hindrance, so that justice can be served.
A representative from the provincial police department said local police have a challenge with parents who drop charges of rape after receiving payments or settling deals with perpetrators.
JS Moroka Local Municipality Mayor William Thulare Madileng said the local police station should be extended so that services can be rendered to the community efficiently.
16 Days of Activism campaign
16 Days of Activism campaign takes place every year from 25 November to 10 December. South Africa adopted the campaign in 1998 as one of the intervention strategies towards creating a society free of violence.
The campaign continues to raise awareness among South Africans about the negative impact of violence against women and children.
Meanwhile, the Minister also used the opportunity to create awareness about Broadcasting Digital Migration.
She visited various parts of the municipality in the morning ahead of the 16 Days programme, where she also handed over set top boxes to Pelonolo Special School in Marapyane and three homes in Ga-Maria.
The Minister said the department is currently looking at the roll-out model so that the implementation phase can be fast tracked.
“The department is working around the clock with all stakeholders involved to ensure that we come up with a faster delivery model.” – SAnews.gov.za