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COSATU Today | Memorandum
Memorandum to the Director of Public Prosecutions; Department of Human Settlement Public Safety and Liaisons; Department of Social Development, Women, Children and People with Disabilities; Department of Education and the South African Police Service
15 June 2012
Today, the 15th June 2012, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates in the North West, together with the community of the North West are gathered here as progressive structures representing the interests of the people of the North West and the women and children who are being abused, killed and assaulted every minute of their life.
We are presenting this memorandum to you all with full hope that all that we are raising in this memorandum will be addressed by yourselves, the North West provincial administration and the judiciary system as a whole.
We are here to display our anger and dissatisfaction at the manner in which the lives of women and children have been undermined by the hooligans who continue to terrorise them on a daily basis and want to take over our country, in particular this province.
The women and children of this country, particularly in this province, continue to be abused, killed, marginalised, treated as third-class citizens and subjected to substandard services which continue to degrade their lives, while the men continue to be free and enjoy all the rights in the constitution.
The women and children in this province are subjected to horrendous living conditions, with the situation worse than that of prison itself or to put it in a better context our people are already in hell before the judgement day arrives.
The gender disparities which used to exist pre apartheid and in the apartheid era are still there and continue to treat the women as if they are sub-human beings and third-class citizens of this country. Women still suffer the triple oppression of gender, inequality and class.
Politicians, police, the courts and public representatives continue live life as if these things happens elsewhere in another continent and not in our country and particularly this province.
Since the disappearance and death of Francis Rasuge, the women of this province have known no peace and we want to cite the following incidents as an example:
- Ivy Molefe was killed by her husband in Mafikeng
- A three-month pregnant women educator was raped and killed in Khuma in April 2012
- A two months old baby was raped in Boitekong
- A man raped four children in Bapong in Moses Kotane
- A women and a child were killed in Tigane
- A seventeen year old girl was raped by three men in Taung
- A lady was cut into pieces and thrown in a dam in Taung
- A nurse was found decomposed in Ventersdorp
- A child was raped in Moedwill
- There are 169 cases of domestic violence in Maquassi Hills, 20 of child abuse and 10 of rape.
- Patients were raped by health professionals in Brits and Potchefstroom
These cases are just but a few that we want to highlight but the list is endless.
As COSATU and the people of the North West we are saying enough is enough. We have noted the failure or unwillingness of the government to deal with gender based violence and these social ills.
We believe that there is a link between the current growing poverty and unemployment in the province and these kind of crimes.
Our country’s constitution continues to protect the perpetrators while the victims are left defenceless and at the mercy of their attackers.
It has now become a daily or hourly activity that a women, a child or both are raped, killed, physically abused, assaulted or all of the above happens to them.
What is worrying is the rate of arrest and convictions of the accused in these kind of crimes and the willingness of the court to give the perpetrators bail of as little as a R10 and more often the same perpetrators go on to kill their victims if they are still alive.
COSATU and the community of the North West, including the working class and the poor, will not stand on the periphery and leave the criminals to reign. And we believe that justice delayed is justice denied.
As COSATU we demand the following.
- The full protection of women and children by all the entities of state and the departments.
- The SAPS must start to prioritise all gender related crimes, especially where women and children are victims.
- There should be no bail granted to all those who are accused of killing and raping women and children as they often go back and kill the witnesses.
- Prosecutors must oppose all bail applications on gender-based violence and make sure that the witnesses are put on a witness protection program
- The Department of Social Development, Women and People with Disabilities must develop a program which will capacitate women and children and make sure that they are aware of their rights, and taking care of those children who are abused by their parents or uncles.
- Any government official including the police who commit these kind of crimes while on duty must be suspended immediately and finally be dismissed.
Finally COSATU demands a full commitment by the authorities to act decisively and urgently on this matter and COSATU will not rest until all these demands are met. COSATU members will be there in numbers during the court dates of those animals, picketing outside court with their red T-shirts.
For COSATU For SAPS
For DHSPS&L For DSDWC&PwD
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456