Africa-Press – South-Africa. The DA put the rape and murder of every woman on the doorstep of President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, saying he could fix the broken SAPS, put more boots on the ground and fund crime-fighting efforts.
Delivering a speech after a march to the Phakamile Mabija police station in Kimberley, DA national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said they took a stand and handed over a memorandum because there had been a sharp increase in violent crimes in the Northern Cape, especially in the province’s capital city.
“Today we are not interested in empty words, commissions and task teams,” she said.
Gwarube noted that Ramaphosa introduced a GBVF Council to tackle the scourge of violence against women two years ago.
“To this day, nothing has been done.”
In a message to Ramaphosa, Gwarube said: “For every woman that was raped and killed in this country, it is on you, Mr President. It is on you because you protect a minister who is clearly out of touch and ill-suited for the job,” she said.
She also said Ramaphosa could fix the broken SAPS, put more boots on the ground and fund crime-fighting efforts.
“But you do not. Therefore, you are complicit.”
Gwarube said if Ramaphosa and his Cabinet were serious about the safety of women in the country, DNA sample backlogs should be cleared now.
“There is nothing to celebrate if women cannot be safe in their homes and in their communities,” she said.
Gwarube used the event to champion her party’s campaign for the devolution of policing powers from the national government.
“We believe local policing authorities are better at crime- prevention and fighting (crime),” she said, adding that the Western Cape government had the biggest and most comprehensive safety plan in the country.
Gwarube said the DA had introduced in Parliament a bill to deal with the issue of DNA backlogs.
“We want to ensure that those who commit these crimes do not become repeat offenders at our expense.”
She said there was nothing to celebrate if women could not be safe in their homes and communities.
Gwarube said South African women have a different fight on their hands as a war has been declared against them.
“The war rages on. Our bodies (are) used as battlefields,” she said.
“While the rest of the world is grappling with issues of gender representation or equal pay, we are stuck in a hell-loop begging for our lives to be spared.”
Gwarube said Women’s Day was not a gender-based violence and femicide awareness day.
“It is an opportunity to take stock of how far we have come and how much further we have to go to achieve true gender equality,” she said.
Gwarube took a swipe at Police Minister Bheki Cele for his reported statements that a woman was lucky to have escaped being gang raped and telling people people to shut up when they raised their concerns about safety in communities.
She said Cele has presided over the DNA backlog crisis, denying justice to thousands of victims of rape, murder and violent crimes.
“To date there are over 150 000 DNA samples yet to be processed. That means even the cases that are reported to the police are not being solved because these samples are stuck in the system.”