Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas at the Provincial call to action to prevent violence against women and children Galeshewe circle, Kimberley PDF Print E-mail

Programme director
Members of the Executive Council
Mayors and Councillors
Government officials
Religious fraternity
Non-Governmental Organisations
Civil society
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen

It pains me to stand here today during a time where it seems our society has lost its moral compass which is leading to the destruction of our women and children and the devastation of family life as we know it. I am however honoured that through your presence here today, you are joining the clarion call that says not in my name shall the lives of our women and children be threatened, not in my name shall I stand by idly and watch our children, women and elderly be subjected to abuse and violence.

Today we gather here in Child protection week as already indicated. We gather because we are concerned at the alarming rate that women and children are abused and even killed. Mainstream media as well as Social media is abuzz with horrific stories of abuse, murder and sadistic violence in general. It is becoming too much and we as Government call upon civil society and every living breathing person to join us in our condemnation of these ghastly acts.

We are also here to revive the “Thursdays in Black”, a campaign against sexual and gender-based violence. It however is of concern that most people involved in the activism and condemnation of abuse are women.  We therefore call upon men to take their rightful place in society and be at the forefront of the protection of violence and abuse of those most vulnerable members of our society. Today we are here to renew our pledge to wear Black on Thursdays in solidarity with victims and survivors of abuse and gender based violence and therefore we are encouraged to wear black. No longer can we just read about violence and abuse and not even be moved by it. To the organizers of the Thursdays in Black we say well done for taking a stand and know that you are not alone. From today each and every one present and absent will support this call and not only wear the black on Thursdays, but we will commit to support the initiative and condemn all forms of violence and abuse. Violence based on sexual orientation is also on the rise and with this campaign we aim to highlight this and inculcate a culture of acceptance and tolerance.

It is only through the active participation of all stakeholders, especially the various communities, that we can win this battle. Gender Based Violence is not just a police issue, it is not just a social worker issue, it is not just a government issue and it is not just a woman issue. It affects all of us gathered in this hall today. The police cannot be everywhere at all time, but somewhere at any given time a member of the community is at a place where violence or any crime is committed. My plea therefore is that we work with the police and report these crimes and not just look the other way.

The recent cases of Karabo and the frail and precious Courtney moved the country to tears and frustration. We were angered by the blatant violence and cruelty of these crimes. And it is with that same anger and condemnation that we should say enough is enough. We will not allow this to happen. We need to stand as one, stand strong and resolute against the violence and the abuse of women and children.

It calls on us to go back and dig deep in our humanity so that we can stop this and to stop it we need to start now. What happened to the spirit of Ubuntu where the wellbeing of our fellow man is at the centre of a thriving community? We have gone completely of the moral rails and it is never too late to do what is not only expected of us, but also that we know to be right and commanded by God.

Vandag is die dag wat ons openlik en eerlik moet praat oor die ongoddelike dade wat mans pleeg en waaraan hulle diegene wat hulle moet liefhê onderhewig. Dit is verblydend dat ons Howe in van hierdie gevalle streng op tree en die wandade van hierdie gewetenlose misdadegers hewig straf. Ons sal aanhou om ons uit te spreek en verseker dat die stemme van ontslape slagoffers duidelik gehoor word. Nooit sal ons vergeet wat met hierdie vroue en kinders gebeur het nie en dit behoort die dryfkrag agter hierdie veldtogte te wees.

Ons moet ook nie doekies omdraai nie. Ons moet eerlik wees en reguit praat. In soveel gevalle van geweld in die algemeen is die rede of verskoning die gebruik van drank en ander verslawende middels. En die dwelm probleem is buite beheer. Maar ons kan dit verander. As gemeenskappe moet ons saamstaan en nie toelaat dat die toekoms van ons kinders verwoes word deur hierdie dwelm handelaars. Die gemeenskap en woonbuurte behoort aan ons en ons moet hierdie onding van dwelmhandel rapporteur en nie ‘n mark skep wat tot ons nadeel is nie. Hierdie handelaars verkoop goed wat ons eie kinders van ons steel ten einde dwelms te kan bekom. Werk saam met die polisie en help ons om ons kinders te red. Dit is ons plig om hulle te beskerm.

Ek doen ‘n beroep op ouers om nie die ander kant te kyk as ons kinders wat nie werk met duur klere of ander items huistoe kom nie. Iewers kon iemand met hul lewe betaal het vir dit wat u kind huistoe bring. Daardie kind is ‘n misdadiger en as u as ouers herberg aan hulle voorsien en hul wandade wegsteek maak u, u ook aandadig aan die misdaad.

Ladies and gentlemen, this campaign we undertake will not only be launched and shelved. I pledge to ensure that we sustain this campaign throughout the year and I also commit that Government will walk with you hand in hand as partners to stop the violence. We will, if we work together reclaim our humanity, we will reclaim our dignity, we will reclaim our compassion for another, we will stop violence against our women and children and we will rid our community of drug peddlers and human traffickers.

We call on our church leaders, teachers, community leaders, students, parents, elders and every member of society to walk this path with us. We call on civil society and business to support all initiatives intent of fighting gender and sexual based violence.

I stand here before you today to declare that not in my name or in the name of the Provincial Government of the Northern Cape shall a women or child or older person or transgender person be subjected to violence and abuse. I stand here today to say that if you are a victim of abuse- break the silence. Report the matter and we will ensure that you are protected and that we deal harshly with perpetrators. I stand here today to say that help is at hand. We have dedicated Social workers, police, activists and just all round good people who will not tolerate this. Help is there- all you need to do is reach out and it will be granted to you. Don’t suffer in silence. We are with you.

From today onwards, those who inflict violence on others will know they are being isolated and cannot count on other men to protect them. From now on all men will hear the call to assume their responsibility for solving this problem. This call goes out from here to men from every walk in life.

Together we have the ability to create a society where women can walk freely in the street and children can play safely outside with no fear of being attacked.

Together let us say, not in my name and commit to love, honour and protect our women and children.

I thank you