Parliament, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 – Parliament has described the recent spate of brutal killings of young women by men as barbarism that must be condemned and fought by all peace loving South Africans.

Presiding Officers, Speaker Thandi Modise of the National Assembly, and Chairperson Amos Masondo of the National Council of Provinces condemned the murders of University of Cape Town student, Uyinene “Nene” Mrwetyana and world boxing champion, Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels, as senseless killings that should be met with the full might of the law.

“It is shocking and disturbing to hear about such intensity of violence perpetrated against women by men’, said Speaker Modise and Chairperson Masondo. Both Presiding Officers were part of a Women’s Parliament held in the National Assembly last week, that called for the declaration of gender-based violence as a national crisis in South Africa, so that emergency interventions and sustenance plans can be successfully executed.

“South Africa cannot afford to sloganeer and lament when women and girl children continue to die at the hands of men, most of whom are known to them. It is clear that a war has been declared against women and girl children, and therefore it cannot be business as usual. Extraordinary interventions are called upon to bring an end to these senseless acts of lawlessness. This is a crisis and a war must be waged against these perpetrators to send a message of zero tolerance.”

Parliament must and will do all it can, through its oversight instruments and other Constitutional powers, for gender based violence to be declared a national crisis and to root it out of our society. The criminal justice system must embrace a business unusual approach in dealing with this scourge.

“Women and girls of our nation have a reason to be afraid and gutted for feeling unsecure. As South Africans, we cannot claim to be free when the 55% of the population is daily living in fear of being raped, murdered and abducted.”

The Presiding Officers also called upon all members of society, men and boys in particular, to take responsibility for creating a society free from all forms of violence against women.

Parliament extends its heartfelt condolences to the Mrwetyana, Jegels and other families of victims of gender-based violence. We wish them strength during these trying times.

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930