SA mourns another epidemic, femicide

Column/ Opinion

By: Cwenga Maqhubela

A call for men to take action as the country battles the rise of femicides. Photo by: AFP PHOTO / Rajesh Jantilal

In the mist of a global pandemic covid-19, South Africa faces another dark cloud as women perish in the hands ‘men’. I wish this was all new to us but the unfortunate part is that we hear about these cases on a daily basis. As we celebrate youth day today, I sense that these kinds of celebrations are no longer the same as women fear for what may happen to them or who is next.

I remember growing up and reading about the brutality that was posed by the famous serial killer Moses Sithole against women just after the apartheid era. His arrest brought relief and hope to many women in the country that such brutality had came to an end. Unfortunately, that is a dream we all hope to witness. 25 years later, women still live in fear as they are still victims of femicide. As the country is still trying to heal from the wounds of Karabo Mokoena, Uyinene Mrwetyana, Gomolemo Legae, Precious Ramabulana and many other women who have lost their lives in the hands of men in 2019, 2020 seems to be continuing from where the previous year left off. Recently, we have read about the brutal killings of Tshegofatso Pule and Naledi Phangindawo who have also been murdered allegedly by their partners and sadly the list does not end with these two cases.

I recently had a conversation with one of my female friends about everything that has been going on, and it really cut deep into me to hear about how she is affected by all of this. She might not be directly involved but it has a psychological effect on her just as every other women. Would you blame a woman for walking down the street and screaming “men are trash,” or are you willing to take a stand and say ‘enough is enough.’

Women protesting for justice and peace against GBV and femicide in Johannesburg on August 2, 2018. Image by: Martha Puth.

Gents this one is for you. I wonder to myself that do you actually have a moment self introspection before taking any decision. One may commit murder and come with an excuse that they were raised by an abusive father. That’s totally gibberish, your family being abusive to you does not mean you will also be one. While I was scrolling down the streets of twitter, I was shocked to see how we are so fragile and defensive about about our manhood as opposed to when a woman is killed or raped. I am talking from a man’s point of view, at this moment, I am ashamed of my gender. It is really up to us gents that we step up or we add to the ‘trash’. If you are sitting back and not reporting any mischievous behavior against women, you are trash.

Happy youth day, I pray to God that we have a better tomorrow.

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