Hansard: JS: Debate on 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women and Children: Count me in: Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward (150)

House: Joint (NA + NCOP)

Date of Meeting: 21 Nov 2014


No summary available.


TAKE 160




21 NOVEMBER 2014









Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 09:15.


The Speaker of the National Assembly took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.














THE MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Madam Speaker, Chairperson of the NCOP, members of the joint sitting, members of society in the gallery, South Africa achieved democracy in 1994.


Central to this democracy was a commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Gender equality is a founding principle and core right of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996. Its founding principles elevate human rights, equality and freedom for everyone in South Africa.


However, as we all know, violence against women and children did not disappear with the introduction of the Constitution with its expansive Bill of Rights. This is because we come from a past where violence was the norm. This includes the previous state, which was violent and which justified violence.


Within this context, women suffered violence and abuse in various forms: physically, sexually, emotionally, psychologically and economically, etc, and Children did not escape the same. Women who were raped were always blamed for being raped or not believed that they had been raped. Women suffered in silence with no space or institutional arrangement for recourse and their human rights were violated on a daily basis.


Under the old common-law rule, the husband had the right to inflict moderate personal chastisement on his wife and rape law had its origin, not in personal injury law, but in Roman property law. This was exacerbated by cultures, social systems and religions which have, in the past, promoted patriarchy and the oppression of women.


Cabinet agreed and adopted a theme, Count me in: Together moving a nonviolent South Africa forward. This is embracive and signifies the aspirations of the Preamble to the Constitution.


At the dawn of democracy, the ANC-led government introduced measures that promoted an integrated approach to the strategies for eliminating the above scourge.


The National Crime Prevention Strategy of 1996 inculcated a victim-centred approach in the criminal justice system. The spin-off has been a plethora of legislation, either new or amended, which affirms victims’ rights. This ranges from firearms control to domestic violence legislation.


Protocols and norms and standards have been developed, for example, the Uniform Protocol and Service Charter for Victims of Crime of 2005, the Patients’ Rights Charter and the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, Customer Service Charter. There might be shortcomings, but these 20 years have seen to it that there are instruments which address violence in our society.


Institutional mechanisms such as the specialised sexual offences courts; Thuthuzela care centres; family, child and sexual offences units; domestic violence courts; and correctional supervision boards, and other boards, were established in order to create a space and provide institutional arrangements for recourse and to promote women’s rights.


The ANC-led government appreciated the importance of understanding the causes of domestic violence, as some of the perpetrators are themselves victims of domestic violence. This makes it important to include counselling in order to change the mindset of the perpetrators and emphasise resocialisation and reorientation of the perpetrators of violence against women and children.


This is also to facilitate their understanding that women are their equals and part of the society, in order to promote a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and equal society. The approach to this scourge has been multipronged in order to ensure that we address even the causes of gender-based violence.


The other strategy is to continually raise awareness of the negative impact that violence against women and children has on our society as a whole. Therefore, South Africa adopted the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, in 1998, as one of the intervention strategies for creating a society free of violence. The 16-Days-of-Activism campaign is a campaign endorsed by the United Nations, UN, to raise awareness of violence against women and children. It is an annual awareness-raising campaign that starts on 25 November and runs until 10 December.


The first launch in this country was held at the Women’s Prison in Braamfontein on 25 November 1998. It was led by the late Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang when she was the Deputy Minister of Justice. She became a champion in the fight against gender-based violence, made a tremendous contribution and left a lasting legacy for all of us.


She was followed by the late Ms Cheryl Gillwald, who was also a Deputy Miniser, and the late Ms Nomatyala Hangana. They, too, were champions in the elimination of gender-based violence. May their souls rest in peace. [Applause.]



Ngamaqabane asebenzela ukukhululwa kwamakhosikazi eMzantsi Afrika.



The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children in our country this year, 2014, takes place within the broader context of the country’s 20 years of democracy, as well as the 60 years of the Women’s Charter. It also marks the 16th anniversary of the campaign. Therefore, we need to reflect on what it is that we need to do and what we, as this country, have gained.


This year’s campaign reflects on 16 years of raising awareness on gender-based violence, 20 years of democracy and the empowerment of women.


One of the achievements of the campaign over the years has been the bringing together of all sectors of society, including civil-society organisations, to speak with one voice against this scourge of violence. The message we are putting forward today is “many voices, one message”. This, then, speaks to fighting this scourge of violence for 365 days - hence the theme we have adopted, Count me in: Together moving a nonviolent South Africa forward.


The findings from the Government Communication and Information System, GCIS, Tracker Research of 2014 indicate that while there has been a decline in the awareness levels of the 16 Days campaign, when comparing the awareness of the campaign to other seasonal and highly profiled campaigns, eg the Budget speech and the state of the nation address, the awareness levels of the 16 Days campaign still remain high. However, this is not enough, because if its success was there, we would see a reduction in the brutality in our society.


Despite this high level of awareness of the 16 Days campaign, this pandemic remains a cause for concern in our society. Its ugly face and the levels of brutality make it worse because it knows no age, it knows no colour and it leaves pain and permanent scars on society, and leads to family breakdowns.


We all know, today, of Anene Booysen, a 17-year-old girl who was found by a security guard after she was gang-raped and disembowelled at a construction site in Bredasdorp.


Child rapist and killer, Ntokozo Radebe, was convicted for murdering, raping and sodomising five-year-old Anelisa Mkhonto. He had dumped her in a rubbish bin in a plastic bag.


We all know what that means for our children. In recent times in our country we have seen a trend with children when they are abused. Where do we find them when they go missing? In rubbish dumps. Does it mean our children are rubbish? We need to correct that. It is a sick society where children are identified with rubbish which we throw away because we don’t need it.


We need to bring back the dignity of our children. We need to make sure that we take up our parental responsibilities, to make sure we protect our children so that, in the future, they will become adults who would have been cared for and loved by all of us, as a society.


As we are here today, we know that we will be launching our 16 Days of Activism campaign at Reiger Park. That is where Cuburne van Wyk’s badly decomposed body was found at a mine dump. Again, does this confirm that we, as society, have relegated ourselves to a place where our children are equated to rubbish? We need to prove this is untrue and say, no, and once more raise our voices to stop this scourge which undermines the rights of the children in South Africa. [Applause.]


Domestic violence continues to be a deadly crime, a social menace, and a costly public health and economic problem. Most of the victims are women and children. The brutal killing of women and children, despite laws having been instituted to criminalise brutal behaviour and to improve the safety of women and children, shows that there is a need to move from policy to action and provide stronger focus than ever before on prevention and early intervention to support women and children against this scourge.


Government research institutions, such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, have the responsibility to conduct victimology research in order to assist in early detection and prevention.


On the other hand, while there has been an improvement in arrests of alleged perpetrators, there has also been a serious miscarriage of justice. Alleged perpetrators are sometimes released, while the stakeholders within the criminal justice system play the blame game. As government, we must desist from the blame game, and make sure that communities don’t lose confidence in our justice system. We need, as this House, to work together and make sure that, in servicing our communities, we take satisfaction and the laws we pass here become effective and can, indeed, be recourse for our people.


In its 2014 election manifesto, the ANC committed itself to continue to prioritise incidents of domestic violence and crimes against women and children by further strengthening the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit and pursuing a multidisciplinary approach in our fight against violence against women and children. This includes the integration of the crime and justice cluster, including access to justice. We would continue to improve the detection of crime and efficiency in the courts.


While it is the primary responsibility of government to provide strong leadership and a co-ordinated and integrated approach to tackling this scourge, reducing violence against women and children is a shared responsibility across all stakeholders in South Africa. This cannot be achieved by government alone. It needs everybody, and we can’t apportion blame while our women and children continue being victims. It also calls upon us to unite to make sure we change society; in making sure that the people out there can have confidence in this House, and see us as their protectors. Therefore, Count me in: Together moving a nonviolent South Africa forward. [Applause.]


The campaign also aims to provide a platform to engage all stakeholders across race, gender, age, and other divides, to commit to collectively fight this scourge in our society, and to relook at the available strategies on the eradication of violence against women and children. This calls for national cohesion. This is not a programme for particular groupings, but a national call, because it deals with our integrity, the respect of women, the dignity of women in our society - also for them to, once more, gain their self-confidence.


In its Discussion Paper on Gender-Based Violence, the ANC raised concerns on the levels of violence against women and children. It states:


There is a serious concern about the levels of gender-based violence, especially sexual violence, in the country and hence government had sought to reform its laws and policies regarding gender-based violence.


According to a recent report by KPMG, Human and Social Services on the Cost of Gender-Based Violence, gender-based violence - in particular, violence against women - is one of the most expensive public health problems globally and has a fundamental impact on economic growth which can span several generations. Therefore, we have a responsibility, as this House, to make sure our society is properly serviced and we do, indeed, become the custodians of our people.


Structural barriers in the economic, political, social and environmental levels reinforce racial and gender inequalities. Women are marginalised and continuously discriminated against in terms of economic opportunities and the labour market, as well as access to land, credit and finance. This makes them prone to violence and abuse. Therefore, as this department, we are committed to making sure that our oversight, monitoring and evaluation become critical. May I also say I hope this House will not just be there to raise issues but to help us in making sure that the budget of this department does, indeed, change the lives of our women in South Africa. [Applause.]


In this regard, the ANC at its 53rd national conference, in Mangaung, resolved to increase access to economic opportunities for women. This includes targeted procurement from women companies and small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs. This includes transforming the economy to represent women’s demography. As we all know, women are in the majority in our country. Therefore, they need to benefit.


We might also want to ask ourselves about the ring-fencing of particular monies or finances. Is it sufficient, when those who are in the minority get the bigger share of the cake? Perhaps we, as women, should qualify for the bigger share of the cake because we are in the majority. [Applause.]


Our national debate, today, as it focuses on the 16 Days campaign, intends to take us forward on the clarion call to all sectors of our society to stand up and be counted as part of the solution to eradicating gender-based violence. As I’ve indicated, Members of Parliament are critical in mobilising communities. This includes their oversight role on all government laws and strategies. If united, they are a powerful force in making sure that they contribute towards creating a better, but also an equal, South Africa.


As a department, we are planning also to host national and provincial dialogues in order to understand the causes. It should also ensure that the impact of the continued triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality - including violence against women and children - stops in our community. This should not inhibit women from furthering their own interests, but allows them to have a safer South Africa. This will also facilitate the identification of gaps in the implementation of laws and programmes to make policy recommendations and to partner with other government departments in order to strengthen their services.


The dialogue will also facilitate the understanding of economic and social challenges faced by women and children in rural areas and be able to respond appropriately to their needs. Further, the dialogue will also lead to the development of the research agenda to address challenges and gaps in the implementation of laws and programmes aimed at violence against women and children. In addition, it will make sure that our women become better skilled and have access to all services which are there in our laws.


Current strategies mean nothing if they cannot give meaningful expression to the victims they must impact on positively. Therefore, the dialogue will also talk to the National Strategic Plan on Violence against Women and Children. This will be outlined clearly in the country’s policy on addressing gender-based violence and inform how we take the campaign forward in the form of a programme. It is more than just a campaign, which tends to be a 16-days event, and after that, it’s “So what?”


We need a programme which talks to the country on a 365-days basis in making sure that the space is free and safer for all of us, where fathers become fathers and not monsters; uncles become protectors of their children instead of children running away from their uncles because they have turned out to be a threat to their own blood and biological children. [Applause.]


Two months ago, when launching the HeForShe campaign, UN Goodwill Ambassador and British-born Hollywood actress, Emma Watson, asked the question we need to ask ourselves as we raise our hands in the Count me in campaign, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” That’s the clarion call. It is now. It cannot be tomorrow. We need to rescue our society. [Applause.]


May I, once more, appeal to all members who have not yet signed the pledge to do so as we go out from here, in order to show the women and children that we are a caring society – for, indeed, we are a caring South Africa. Imagine living in a society where we no longer read or hear about the abuse that women and children often suffer at the hands of heartless perpetrators - a society where they are safe at home, at school and at work, in the playing areas, where children play safely outside and women walk freely in the streets. This is the society that the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children hopes to achieve.


Thank you very much, hon Speaker. [Time expired.] [Applause.]















Mrs D ROBINSON: Hon Speaker, molweni nonke, goeie môre, almal. [Good morning, everyone.] It is wonderful to have so many activists in the gallery, and also some NGOs like FAMSA, The Parent Centre and various others who do wonderful work assisting with cases of rape of abuse. Thank you for your support.


Today we are here to mark an important period in our South African calendar, the 16 days of activism against violence and abuse of women’s rights and human rights – the rights on which South Africa’s Constitution is based.


You will notice that I am wearing my blue sash again. It reminds us of the Black Sash, an organisation started 60 years ago to protest against the removal of the so-called coloured people from the voters roll. These people mobilised the support of thousands of others to march in protest against laws which would disenfranchise others.


We remember members like Sheena Duncan and Molly Blackburn from Port Elizabeth who hid many an injured activist fleeing from the apartheid police in her home. We have one of them in the gallery today. Molo Sisi. Wamkilekele.


Many people from all walks of life fought for freedom, equality, justice and dignity. These rights are now guaranteed by law, but have we as citizens internalised those values? Are they part of our psyche? Can we say that all our citizens are accorded dignity, that there are no longer any second-class citizens in South Africa?


One simply has to look at the statistics on gender abuse and domestic violence to realise that this is not the case at all. Since 1994 there has been a 40% increase in the number of sexual offences committed. In 2013-14 there were 172 sexual offences committed every day. If this House represented South Africa, approximately half of us would have experienced sexual assault.


Statistics SA reveals that only about 14% of perpetrators of rape are convicted and that only 1 in 9 rapes in South Africa is reported. Is this perhaps because victims do not have confidence in the system?


I don’t have time to go into all the reasons for this, but may I recommend this little book on gender-based violence, a review of the work of the Fourth Parliament by our research department. It contains excellent analyses of the problems, and also provides solutions, especially for SA Police Service, SAPS, and the Justice system.


The struggle for gender equality takes many forms because of the complex nature of patriarchy, which is still very prevalent, not only in traditional societies but also behind closed doors in suburbs and townships. Discrimination of all types is alive and well, and when I recall some of the invective and statements made recently in this House, I am saddened and wonder what has happened to the dream of a rainbow nation.


The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex, LGBTI, sector is still victimised, while lesbian women, in particular, are still persecuted and suffer corrective rape by self-righteous men who wish to enforce their power and have no respect for others. There should be no place for hate crimes in a constitutional democracy.


Two other types of abuse that are increasing day by day are child pornography and cyber bullying. Social media is becoming the new schoolyard for bullies. Teens say cruel behaviour takes place on Twitter 23,8%; on Facebook, 92,6%; on MySpace, 17,7%; and on Instant Messenger, 15,2%.


When being bullied, 65,8% of teens responded to the bullies; 15,4% avoided school; and 4,5% had been in a physical fight with their bully. This, while parents remain oblivious.


Twenty-five per cent of teens claim to be targets of cyber bullying; two-thirds of teens have witnessed cruel behaviour online; while 10% of parents are aware that their teens are targets of cyber bullying.


I appeal to parents to be vigilant and try to build up good, strong, trusting relationships with their children so that they can be aware of the dangers of people preying on their children. This is a new type of abuse and we as legislators will have to bear this in mind and update our legislation.


Hon Speaker, may I, through you, request that we as leaders of our nation, in the spirit of harmony signified by the lighting of the Peace Torch, all stand for a minute to honour and respect those who have died and suffered as a result of abuse and intolerance of others whose lifestyle might be different from ours.


I ask the Speaker.


The SPEAKER: Hon member, I would have preferred that we do it either at the beginning or at the end of the debate.


Mrs D ROBINSON: All right, thank you.


The SPEAKER: The Chair will manage it.


Mrs D ROBINSON: Thank you, Speaker.


Let us remember the many women from all walks of life who suffered loss and died to bring about the freedom we enjoy today. Count us all in as we move towards a nonviolent society. And may the riot police never desecrate this National Assembly, NA, again. Thank you.















Mr Y C VAWDA: Please allow me to acknowledge the presence of our Supreme Forces, irrespective of what our perceptions might be. I greet you all with, As-salaam-ulaikum. [Peace be upon you.]


Hon Speaker, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members and members of the public in the gallery, you might notice that I am carrying my t-shirt in my hand but that’s because my tummy is a bit too big for this one. [Laughter.]


However, to be serious, violence has been defined in many different terms but the underlying intention is always to utilise abuse to establish and maintain power and control over another person or persons. This is often reflected in an imbalance of power between the victim and the abuser.


Violence is a choice and it is preventable, and prevention should become the primary focus going forward. Violence manifests itself as physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, psychological violence and verbal violence, and the nature of its oppression takes many other sinister forms.


Hon members, sadly, in South Africa the huge socioeconomic discrepancy rears its ugly head once more as we see a great division in the different forms of violence in the varying spheres of society.


In the different spheres of the socioeconomic structures of society, this violence against women and children takes different forms, but the greater oppression and feelings of despair and hopelessness always leads to greater oppression of the victims. This understanding of the causal roots of the issues will go a long way to assist in finding the solutions to the problems.


The root of all forms of violence is founded in the many types of inequality which continue to exist and grow in society. Indeed, this situation of socioeconomic divide – not only the perpetuation of this divide but the increase over the last 20 years of the same – is in itself gross violence of immense proportions against the poor and marginalised peoples in this country.


Let us take this opportunity to consider that violence is the last resort to those who are mentally fatigued. However, allow me a moment to ponder on the essence of a nonviolent approach, not only behind the closed doors of domestic onslaught, but also in the broader national scenario.


I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.


Nonviolence, which is the quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain.


As you may have guessed, these quotes come from none other than the lead advocate in the 20th century of a nonviolent approach, Mahatma Gandhi. Yet, the very same advocate goes on to explain in The Doctrine of the Sword:


I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour.


Hon members, have no doubt that the people of South Africa, upon whom the gross violence of socioeconomic oppression is being meted out, will indeed defend their honour. Mahatma Gandhi also said:


Not knowing the stuff of which nonviolence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one's life. As a teacher of nonviolence, I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.


Hon members, the people of South Africa are neither unmanly nor cowardly, and will defend their honour. The widespread and increasing civilian unrest in the country in the form of protests, labour unrest and even rising crime, is in essence a manifestation of this resistance to the violence of socioeconomic oppression, in an attempt not only to restore their honour but also their dignity. [Time expired.] [Applause.]











Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon Speaker, hon Members of Parliament and our guests in the gallery, every year the IFP rises to pledge our support for the 16 Days of Activism on No Violence campaign. We do so because since 1975 we have advocated gender equality, the dignity of human life and the promotion of values such as respect, compassion and goodwill.


Yet, the reality we face today is that the citizens of our country face poverty and crime every day. We have become so hardened to hardship and violence that outrage has been replaced by apathy. We have failed and abandoned the National Council Against Gender-Based Violence. The council received no funding. The same fate befell the now-defunct Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, and again the new Department of Women in the Presidency will receive inadequate funding.


This then begs the question: Is there any real political will to solve this crisis? I ask this question because our government stands on the sidelines in silence while nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, which care for the vulnerable sectors of our society, such as Rape Crisis and the Transform Education about Rape and Sexual Abuse, Tears, Foundation, struggle to keep their doors open.


Rape in South Africa is six times higher than anywhere else in the world. Approximately only 1 in 14 offenders is prosecuted, while 90% of rapes go unreported. The conviction rate is so low that most of these victims never see justice, but the low conviction rate also means that thousands of rapists are walking our streets right now.


For some, these remain mere numbers, but perhaps they need to see it in financial terms. According to KPMG, gender-based violence costs South Africa at least R28,4 billion a year. What could we have done with these billions? For a start, it could’ve covered every single Child Support Grant for the next eight years or a Youth Wage Subsidy for every single unemployed youth.


Government, surely for this reason alone you must grasp the importance of funding the fight against gender-based violence, rather than simply just talking about it.


The IFP therefore proposes that Treasury, through the Department of Social Development, considers increasing funding for NGOs and improves the funding for the Department of Women. Also, we need an improved funding model for addressing gender-based violence that includes prevention funding — which is essential if the state is to adequately address this challenge.


The Department of Social Development should also review its policy of partially funding shelters. Currently in South Africa, we spend R266 a month on rehabilitating a prisoner, yet government sees it fit to spend only R44 on a woman who takes refuge in a shelter. Surely this is not good enough.


All of us need to take responsibility for building a value system in which any form of violence against a woman or a child is so repugnant that our communities rise up in protest whenever a wife is beaten or a woman is raped.


Violence cannot be accepted in our society, for then it will flourish. Social change is needed and it begins with accepting responsibility and moving past empty slogans and empty rhetoric. Let us walk away from here today and turn our words into action. I thank you. {Applause.]











Mr S C MNCWABE: Madam Speaker, hon members, good morning, the violence against women and children in South Africa is a national shame and a scourge which we all have a duty to extinguish.


This honourable House has passed several laws since 1998, aimed at curbing violence against women and children. The most notable of which is the Domestic Violence Act, the Children’s Act, the Maintenance Act and the Promotion of Equity and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000.


Yet despite these pieces of legislation, Madam Speaker, the violence against women and children in our society rages on unabated.


The 16 days of Activism is a worldwide campaign to oppose violence against women and children. Commendable and noble in its intent, the success of this campaign rests not only on the heightened awareness during these 16 days, but on our daily individual and collective actions to safeguard our society against this cycle of abuse.


It is however, a sad reflection on our society that 20 years after we have attained our democracy and 20 years after we have, as a nation, embraced our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we find that a child can still not play carefree in the streets, a woman can still not sleep easy at night secure in the knowledge that they are safe from violence of abuse and death.


Despite all legislations and despite the sterling effort made by this honourable House our government, NGOs and various other institutions the scourge of violence against women and children persists.


We are reminded, Madam Speaker, of the words of the late Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Judge Arthur Chaskalson, in a famous 1995 Constitutional Court case of the Stave v Mankwanyane and Mchunu, he said that:


The death penalty is incompatible with section 11(2) of the Constitution which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.


The rape and killing of women and children in our view as the NFP is also cruel, inhumane and degrading. We seriously question how the rights of the perpetrator of these crimes can trump the rights of the ordinary law-abiding citizens of our country, the right to safety, to dignity, to freedom and equality. The NFP calls for a referendum on the death penalty so that our citizens can give a clear guidance government to the of South Africa on the governance of South Africa they would like to see, a South Africa where all people can live free of this scourge of violence; a South Africa where our children can play carefree in the streets without a risk of being molested and killed; a South Africa where an 82-year-old grandmother can sleep sound at night nothing that the law is on the side protecting her from physical and sexual abuse.






IsiZulu: 09:57:31

Siyakugqizelela, Somlomo, ukuthi siyi-NFP siyakugxeka kakhulu ukuhlukunyezwa kwabantu abadala, ukudlwengulwa kogogo esikubone ezindaweni ezifana noSwayimane KwaZulu-Natal nakwezinye izindawo. Ngalawo mazwi siyawuseka lo mkhankaso ukuthi uqhubekele phambili. Siyofa nawo lapho ufa khona. Abangahlukunyezwa ogogo nezingane kanye ngabantu besifazane bonke ezweni lakithi ngoba balilwele izwe, yingakho bebizwa ngembhokodo. Izwe lila likhona ngenxa yemisebenzi yabo.



They do not deserve to be treated like this. I thank you. [Applause.]











Mr J J W JULIUS: Hon Speaker, please count me in — count me in for 365 days of the year and not just only for 16 days of the year. [Applause.]


Speaker, this year we mark South Africa’s 14th year of advocating the United Nations, UN, initiative of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. It is a campaign that feels solely South African due to the nature and continued growth of violence against women and children in our society.


As I stand here, I feel ashamed that only a week ago violence was demonstrated against women and men in this very House. I commend the MPs who stood up to this abuse because it is at times like these that we display our honest condemnation of abuse against women and children.


Disappointingly, whilst this House is in disorder because of an inability to protect its own members, it is a reflection of an epidemic that affects every one of us.


Just today, Speaker, the Cape Times reported on the trial in the case of the two-year-old twins who were stabbed in the head and killed. This cruel act was allegedly committed by the mother’s boyfriend over two years ago.


Hon Speaker, violence against women and children knows no boundaries and cuts across class, race and religion. We have seen it happen in our communities and in our workplaces where it is affecting and killing our mothers, sisters and children.


The statistics by no means speak to the physical, emotional and mental breakdown that the abused go through. The statistics do not show the humiliation of our women and children; neither does it reflect the fear they experience on a daily basis.


When sinister Shabangu … — Sorry! When Minister Shabangu launched this year’s plans for 16 Days of Activism in Ekurhuleni, disturbing statements emanated from various speakers invited by the Department of Women.


The message was clear that women must be submissive to their husbands — I can’t believe it — Feminism is un-African, funding for centres for abused women and children must be cut. [Interjections.] I will send you an SMS where you can get it.


This was the discourse communicated to the audience, including NGOs, civil society, the private sector, organised labour, the media and many ordinary South Africans who suffer and fight against abuse on a daily basis.


This campaign is due to start next week, but NGOs like Project Empower, People Opposing Women Abuse, Powa, Sonke Gender Justice, the Networking HIV, AIDS Community of South Africa, the SA National Aids Council, Sanac, the New World Foundation — and the list goes on — have already spoken out about their disappointment in the department’s ignorance and the lack of plans to fight this social ill.


This is the leadership that the sinister – Oh, sorry! - Minister has shown. It is because of this leadership that we have lost confidence that the 16 Days of Activism will be a talk shop with no impact on curbing gender-based violence specifically towards women and children and that many victims who still await justice will never receive it, and thus their dignity will be denied.


This said, Madam Speaker, it seems as if the Minister does not care about violence against women and children after all. The department could not even invest in creating their own theme for the 16 Days of Activism. Instead, Minister, you used the ANC’s election manifesto and theme, Together Moving a Nonviolent South Africa forward.


If the Minister cannot even put any effort into a constructive theme, how will she able to strategically look at ways to protect the most vulnerable members of our society? Speaker, this is an everyday event. If you only wanted to create awareness, I would suggest that you should just have employed a professional agency to launch a PR campaign where sensitivity to issues of violence and abuse would most likely have been better understood and communicated.


Speaker, whilst the Minister has smeared the reputation of important stakeholders on a daily basis ... [Interjections.]


The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chair, on a point of order: It looks as if the hon member does not even understand the role of this department ... [Interjections.] Can he talk about today’s topic? [Applause.]


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, I think that was a point for debate. Continue, hon Julius. [Applause.]


Mr J J W JULIUS: Thank you, Chairperson. It is time that the Minister restores this relationship before any meaningful progress can be made. [Interjections.]


Hon Chairperson, I encourage the Minister to start by apologising to all the South Africans she offended when she launched the 16 Days of Activism campaign, specifically those organisations who work tirelessly all year round to fight against gender-based violence. [Interjections.]


AN HON MEMBER: Where are you? [Interjections.]


Mr J J W JULIUS: I am here! Instead of working with the Department of women, these organisations will launch their own campaigns ... [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Julius, just hold it. Yes, hon Minister?


The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Is the hon member prepared to take a question just for a bit of education?


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Julius, are you prepared to take a question?


Mr J J W JULIUS: No, the Minister can send me a WhatsApp message.




The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, he is not prepared to.


Mr J J W JULIUS: I am on WhatsApp. Thank you Chair. [Applause.] Instead of working with the Department of Women, these organisations ... [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Julius, just hold it. May I just caution the members in the gallery, or the public, not to participate in the debate by clapping their hands. This is a debate for this House. You are our guests, so will you please respect the proceedings of this House. You may proceed, hon Julius.


Mr J J W JULIUS: Thank you, Chairperson. Instead of working with the Department of Women, these organisations will launch their own campaign and demand a national plan to end gender-based violence from government.


In particular, I want to commend the Toekomsrus Men’s Forum under the leadership of Enrico Bhana. I think that they are doing a sterling job in educating men on their role in the home and society as a means to end violence against women and children. I salute you, keep it up.


In conclusion, Chairperson, I appeal to the Minister that although she has alienated many of the women who suffer from abuse, let us not alienate the people who can help restore confidence in this department.


These are the same people and organisations that the department will depend on to help develop, implement and monitor programmes to help us fight the abuse against women and children. [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Julius, just hold on.


Ms D Z RANTHO: Hon Chairperson, it is parliamentary for a member in this House to hold a camera up high and start taking photos?


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It is definitely not parliamentary. Who ...


Ms D Z RANTHO: The hon member here is doing that. He is supposed to erase the pictures.


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Who is that member? Hon member, it is unparliamentary for that to happen and therefore I order you to remove or erase all the pictures that you have taken while seated where you are in the House.


Hon Julius, continue.


Mr J J W JULIUS: Please implement and monitor programmes to help us fight the abuse against women and children and ultimately help South Africa one step at a time. [Applause.]


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The next speaker on my speaker’s list is hon Bhengu. [Applause.]



Nks N R BHENGU: Ngibonge Sihlalo.


Mr Z W D MANDELA: Chairperson, on a point of Order. [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can I just take the point of order?


Mr Z W D MANDELA: Is it parliamentary for this Eastern Cape member of the DA to be chewing Chappies in the House? [Laughter.] [Applause.]



Nks N R BHENGU: Ngibonge, Somlomo ...



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That is an easy ruling: Hon members, it is unparliamentary so please avoid eating Chappies, drinking cold drinks and so forth. Please, could we just respect the decorum of the House because can you imagine if our guests were to notice a member blowing a Chappies?


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: House Chair, I wonder if you may just prepare an aide-mémoire to hand over to Minister Razzmatazz who chews the cud every time he is in the House.


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, I am not going to entertain that. Hon Bhengu, you may continue with the debate.


Ms E N LOUW: On a point of order, Chairperson.


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, what is your point of order?


Ms E N LOUW: Chairperson, it is critically important and paramount that we stick and be consistent, as the Chairpersons on that Chair. Last time, the Deputy Minister also took photos of EFF members. She was not asked to remove the photos then ... [Interjections.] ... you shouldn’t howl ... [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member can you take your seat.


Ms E N LOUW: No! I am not done! I am not done!


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No! Can you take your seat please?


Ms E N LOUW: No, I am not done! I am not done — you don’t even know what I want to say.


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I hear you. Can you take your seat, please. Can you take your seat hon member?


Ms E N LOUW: No! I am not done. [Interjections.] But I am not done. You need to be consistent, man.


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, I request that you take your seat. I made a ruling on a matter that was brought to my attention during this sitting. Hon Bhengu, may you continue with the debate.












Nk P BHENGU: Sihlalo, mhlawumbe ngizoqala ngokukhumbuza isikhulumi se-DA ukuthi lona umkhankaso owaqalwa uKhongolose, nowaqalwa yilo hulumeni ngoba bona besekhona kuhulumeni omdala kodwa abakaze bawuqale lo mkhankaso. Mhlawumbe yingakho sebeqale ukuwona manje. Ngiyabonga [Ihlombe]


Ms E N LOUW: Chair, on a point of order! On point of order!


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Order, members on the gallery! I have made a ruling! I cautioned you earlier on. Please do not participate!


Ms E N LOUW: On a point of order, Chairperson. Now you see it will all come back if you are inconsistent as the Chairperson. When ANC members are on that gallery, the ruling does not apply, but when it is other political parties then you ...!


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member! Hon member! You are out of order now! No! You are out of order!


Ms E N LOUW: No! I am not!


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You are out of order, hon member!


Ms E N LOUW: You are not consistent on that, Chair!


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you take your seat! You are out of order, because even before you raised your order I had already cautioned members in the gallery. Hon Bhengu, please you proceed.



Nk P BHENGU: Sihlalo, lolu wusuku olubalulekile, asibadingi abantu abawo nontandakubukwa. Ngakho-ke asifuni abantu basonele usuku lwethu, ngoba lolu wusuku lwethu la sizokhuluma khona ngokuhlukunyezwa kwabantu besifazane nabantwana. Sicela abantu baziphathe kahle.



In a country where human rights feature prominently in our discourse, about who we are, as well as in the SA constitutional and legal framework, so many wrongs continue to be done against women and children. Some of the wrongs include abuse, poverty, patriarchy, gender violence, socialised obedience as well as dependency in silence of women and children.


South Africa has seen the increasing rate of both physical and sexual abuse against women and children. Progressive rights-based pieces of legislation exist to protect women and children but they are not adequately supported and resourced by services to fulfil their provisions. During his first speech at the opening at the first democratically elected Parliament, President Nelson Mandela said, I quote:


It is vitally important that all structures of government, including the President himself, should understand this fully. That freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression. All of us must take this on board, that the objectives of the Reconstruction and Development Programme will not have been realised unless we see, in visible and practical terms, that the conditions of women in our country has radically changed for the better, and that they have been empowered to intervene in all aspects of life, as equals with any member of society.


The 16 Days of Activism Campaign of the Ministry of Women in the Presidency continue to focus the attention of all sectors of the society on this matter which has a profound impact on the lives of those affected and undermines the ANC’s vision for a nonsexist, nonracial society and a South Africa that is free from violence, inequalities, abuse and discrimination.


Hon Chairperson and members, dealing with patriarchy through legislations - South Africa remains a deeply patriarchal society. The lower value placed in women and girls in relation to men and boys, in almost all settings of their lives, underpins the persistence of discrimination, violence and injustice experienced by women. It explains to some extent the failures of implementation of legislation that has been promulgated over the past 15 years. Policy legislations and government programmes that seek to address the manifestations of patriarchy, generally fail to engage with the patriarchal value systems that infuses almost all social settings, particularly the private sector which has much resistance in this regard.


Gender equality is about development and in order for development to occur all programmes and projects of government are to be engendered.


The Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, statement highlights that development is not engendered, it is endangered. All government programmes are to ensure the integration of gender considerations for active development. Overall, this revised Gauteng Policy Framework on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment advocates gender mainstreaming with the conscious aim of taking forward the efforts of 2003 Gauteng Gender Policy Framework.


Nelson Mandela in his inaugural address in 1994, stated that freedom will not be attained until there is a full emancipation of women. The policy, therefore, as it seeks to ensure the attainment of equality realises the critical concern of redressing the past imbalances through women empowerment efforts.


The Constitution says that equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of rights and freedoms. The Gauteng Strategic Policy Framework on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment seeks to give effect to the equality clause in Chapter 2 of the Constitution and fully supports this legal mandate.


The national policy framework for women empowerment and gender equality is in line with various regional and international instruments. Regionally, these are: SADC Protocol on Gender and Development of 2008 and SADC’s Gender Plan of Action. The African Union, AU, has the following relevant legal instruments: The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa and the African Gender Policy.


Other international conventions are: The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Cedaw, the Beijing Platform of Action, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Millennium Development Goals, MDG. Together, these international conventions seek to achieve gender equality with special emphasis on women empowerment.


The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, once enacted will become a powerful instrument to advance the objectives of gender equality and women empowerment. It will enforce compliance both within and outside the Public Service. We will continue to influence policy position and government programmes to reflect the imperatives of gender equality and women empowerment.


An attempt to address patriarchy is contained in clause 4(1)(e) of the Education and Training Bill which states that designated public and private bodies must develop and implement plans to eliminate prejudice and current practices that hinder the achievement and enjoyment of gender equality and social cohesion.


The clause in the Bill in which patriarchy is specifically mentioned in 4(1)(a), only refers to addressing the pervasive discriminatory patriarchal attitudes and lingering effects of apartheid in relation to the education system. This Bill will assist to accelerate the engendering of policies and programmes across the public and private sector.


Having ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against women, CEDAW, South Africa has undertaken a commitment under Article 5 to take measures to correct patriarchal prejudice and perceptions of the inferior status of women in the family and society informing gendered norms and stereotypes of men’s and women’s roles and behaviour. The state must encourage an understanding of the importance of both men and women in the society.


With regards to the Traditional Courts Bill, there is a continuance on the work with rural women and the other stakeholders to ensure that the provisions of the Bill are consistent with the Constitution and protects the rights of women.


On 3 July 2014, President Jacob Zuma signed a proclamation establishing the Department of Women located in the Presidency - reaffirming the country’s commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action. This is a positive step in enhancing the department’s role to lead, co-ordinate and oversee the transformation agenda on women socioeconomic empowerment, rights and equality through mainstreaming, monitoring and evaluation.


An important practical manifestation of the patriarchal social ideology is women’s limited access to economic empowerment. In turn, one of the reasons for the limited access to economic empowerment is the patriarchal system still entrapped in government’s officials including women’s lack of equal access to development, that is, education and skills. Therefore any strategy needs to give this proportionate attention to these two aspects.


Secondly, the widespread culture of gender-based violence – and particularly violence against women and girls – is also an issue that needs to be addressed if gender equality is to be realised in this country. The critical intersection of gender-based violence and HIV and Aids has to be considered. Government is not the only actor in this area but has an important role to play. However, these issues cannot be addressed in the absence of an effective and comprehensive policy framework, strategies and programme of action that are equally implementable.


The removal of the persisting barriers to the advancement of women, many of which are systematic structural inequalities which are patriarchal in nature, remains a critical condition to achieving women empowerment and gender equality. It is therefore imperative, as President Jacob Zuma outlined in his state of the nation address of this year, that as we enter the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society, we embark on radical socioeconomic transformation to push back the triple challenge, which is unemployment, inequality and poverty.


Significant milestones we need to build on as we together move South African women forward include: The key legislative framework such as the Employment Equity Act; Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act; the Broad-Based Economic Empowerment Act; Recognition of Customary Marriage Act; Customary Inheritance Laws; and the Credit Laws, among other things, have been enacted since the dawn of democracy. And that has contributed to an enabling environment for women empowerment and achievement of gender equality.


The passage of numerous pieces of legislation affecting a range of different issues which partly or entirely affect women was important. These include, inter alia, the Criminal Law which is Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act; the Domestic Violence Act; the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act; Maintenance Act; Employment Equity Act; the Promotion of Equality and Unfair Discrimination Act; and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act.


In its Polokwane national conference held in 2007, the ANC adopted the 50:50 representations. This jumped women to 44% in Parliament and 43% in Cabinet under President Jacob Zuma. [Applause.] The progress our nation is making is mainly due to the commitment of the ANC to empower women and gender equality.



Yilokho esikudingayo nakwamanye amaqembu okubandakanya ne-DA.



As part of our monitoring mandate we have developed an integrated mainstream framework as well as set a specific monitoring and evaluation strategies to monitor progress made in realisation of rights and empowerment of all these three sectors.


The postapartheid ANC government has always prioritised children’s rights and wellbeing as part of our overall development plan. Our first President Nelson Mandela use to say, and I quote:


There is no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its own children.


To improve government co-ordination, advocacy and monitoring capacity, we need to revise the national plan of action for children and monitoring strategy which establishes a mechanism for co-ordination, collaboration and mainstreaming of children rights. To date women continue to be disproportionately affected by poverty, unemployment, disease and underdevelopment. Unequal relations between men and women still exist in almost every area of personal, social and more a more in the private sector.


Therefore, the ANC’s policy inspired legislation has a wide range of programme on women and children’s rights that the ANC has introduced, including the implementation of legal and policy framework to ensure that concerns of women and children are included in the broader socioeconomic strategies.


A set of policies that seek to improve the position of women and children include, among other things: the Domestic Violence Act and Sexual Offences Act, outlawing all forms of abuse against women and children; the enactment of legislation prescribing tougher sentences for serious crimes such as rape; and section 16 of the Constitution providing for freedom from unfair discrimination on the basis of sex.


In addition of policies mentioned above, several programmes have been achieved, including the achievement of gender parity in schooling enrolments; progress in addressing the primary health care needs of women and girls; combating violent crimes against women and children identified as a priority; specialised courts to deal with sexual offences ...



Simzwile uNgqogqoshe lapho ekhuluma ukuthi kukhona ngisho ama- Thuthuzela Care Centres lapho abantu abahlukunyeziwe, abesifazane kanye nabantwana, bezobe bebhekelelwa khona ngokukhulu ukushesha.



Progressive amendments to the Sexual Offences Act ... [Time expired.] The ANC will always support the 16 Days of Activism. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]















Ms C N MAJEKE: Hon Deputy Chairperson and hon members the strategic and key question that we are challenged to answer as Parliament and a society at large is: Do the programmes and activities we do during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign help to prevent this violence against these vulnerable groups?


The latest SAPS annual crime statics report indicates a drop in crimes against children and women. However, these incidents remain extraordinarily high with 45 230 violent crimes against women and children reported in the 2013-14 financial year.


Research from the Eastern Cape shows that 38% of girls and 17% of boys were sexually abused before the age of 18 years. The rural women and children are the most vulnerable and victims of continued physical and emotional violence. The presence of small arms such as guns increases the risk of murder of women every day in cases of violence against partners and family.


We need a paradigm shift from responding to violence against women and children to preventing it. We need adequate human and material resources, more efficient monitoring and evaluation systems and more programmes targeting prevention.


It cannot be business as usual. We must go to places where the victims of these inhumane and barbaric acts are found in the deep rural areas of our land.


We need more social movements, nongovernmental and community-based organs of the people driving an aggressive campaign, for 365 days a year, against the abuse of women and children. We can never claim to be a progressive nation when women and children continue living in fear of other humans. It must be abnormal to fear another human being because you are a child or a woman.


In responding to the question above, we need to move from policy to practice and do that as of yesterday. The nation is in crisis. To do this, we need to adopt a multidimensional approach that not only reduces the risks, but also increases protection by, amongst other things, strengthening parenting skills and increasing and supporting community-based networks.


A wide range of social forces and role-players must be engaged to be activists against violence against women and children. These include, but are not limited to parents, children, community-health professionals, teachers, police, religious leaders, traditional leaders, political leaders, as well as everyone else.


Structural factors like unemployment, poverty, gender, quality of schooling and other things must receive consistent attention. The Ministry and the department, in adopting this paradigm shift, must have a very clear plan that covers the work of many other departments and the ensure ... [Time expired.]


















Ms A MATSHOBENI: Hon Deputy Chairperson ...


IsiXhosa: ... nathi siyi-EFF siyawamkela lo mbono wokungaxhatshazwa kwabantwana nabasetyhini. Okokuqala, mandiqale kuthi bazali ngokunganyaniseki kwethu nokuthi sithengise ngabantwana bethu kubayeni bethu. Athi umntwana xa edlwengulwe, ebuzwa ngabahlali uthi wena makathi khange adlwengulwe. Uphinde ukhalaze ebantwini ngelithi abakhathalelwa.


Okwesibini, ndize koomama abatshatileyo abathi baye kwendela emizini besiza nabantwana bafike bakhethe abayeni ngaphezu kwabantwana. Kukubaxhaphaza abantwana oko. Olu suku masiluthathe njengolubalulekileyo ngoba singabanye, nokuba ayinguwe okanye asindim, kuyasichaphazela ukudlwengulwa kwabantu kwiindawo esihlala kuzo.



Chair, it’s a pity that you are not familiar with the ways in which we are facing the challenges of our society; we had to be guided by the United Nations, UN, to dedicate only 16 Days Of Activitism for No Violence Against Women and Children. What about the other 344 days?


According to the Annual Global Review 2013, 35% have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, and we know that this is a conceived figure — the actual figure is much higher.


It is also estimated that almost half of the women killed in the 2012-13 financial year were killed by their intimate partners or family members.


Furthermore, according to the SA Police Service, SAPS, statistics, 64 514 sexual offences occurred between April 2011 and March 2012. In other words, 176 cases a day, and yet we dedicate only 16 days of activism to this problem.


Independent research carried out by Gender Links in Gauteng showed that 51% women with partners disclosed that they had been victims of abuse at the hands of intimate partners; 33,1% experienced physical abuse; and 18% experienced sexual abuse.


The reality is that South Africa is a society with high levels of violence, in which the normalised violence associated with joblessness, poverty and landlessness will inevitably translate into the public and private spheres.


In as much as sexual violence is about negative, ill-informed attitudes towards women, lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersexual, LGBTI, members of our society, it is ultimately about power.


A simple example, research by the UN/AIDS and World Health Organisation, WHO, suggests that young women between the ages 16 and 23 years who have partners that are three years or more older are more likely to be HIV-positive than women of the same age whose partners are their peers.


There is increasing evidence that alcohol and illegal drugs are a contributing factor to the increasing cases of sexual violence, and we know that shebeens are more popular in poor, black areas.


Societies must indeed change their attitude towards women and the LGBTI community, but it cannot be reasonable to accept that the normalised violence of poverty will not have unintended consequences, hence the state must intervene in the economy to ensure equitable participation and redistribution of the economy and wealth; create advanced and sustainable jobs for women; give free education, adequate health care, housing, water and sanitation; and give women economic freedom in order for them to participate in the economy.


Every police station must be equipped with all the necessary professionals to help the victims of sexual violence. It’s insane that victims of sexual violence have to queue at the police station to make their statements — if they are not victimised — then queue again at the hospital for each specimen to be taken, and again for psychoanalysis. Each police station must have all these facilities.


Most women who are domestic workers and cleaners today face the harshest form of abuse. We must legislate the minimum wage of R4 500. Government must enforce, through law, for all economic benefits, a minimum of 50% representation of women in political participation, managerial positions and leadership responsibility roles.


Furthermore, gender education and training must be compulsory for all, for example, in schools, in the workplace, in families and churches, as well as the legislative and executive civil sectors.


Educate the police on gender justice and establish specialised law enforcement units to deal with the women-related crimes. Strengthen education of men on patriarchy, sexism and engage custodians of tradition, faith leaders and other cultural partners. Collectively find a means of combating the oppression of women. We have a special unit in the police supported by the special legal social workers. Thank you. [Applause.]















Ms M P CHUEU: Deputy Chair, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, hon guests, ke a le dumedisa, ndiyanibulisa, sanibonani [I greet you.].


I want to start by saying, hon Julius, you said feminism in Africa is un-African, I think you must go and read your history very carefully. There were queens who fought colonialism in Africa and they fought against the white people coming into Africa to invade their property and everything that they owned. They fought and won those wars. [Applause.]


We draw our aspirations from them and those were gallant fighters who ensured that they protected what they owned. I even want to commend the Minister on the theme, Count me in. You are not in because you want to blame. A person who is in, is a person who takes charge and responsibility that they will destroy violence in our society. The theme says, Together, moving a nonviolent South Africa forward. It means South Africa is a violent society.


Where does violence come from? In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck came into our country and violently invaded our country. When he came, he only had one woman, Mary Antoinette, and those men who were with him were slaves or prisoners.


Why do I say they were either slaves or prisoners? I say it because they fought to be free burghers. You can’t come here saying you are free and then fight to be a free person. So, it means that they were slaves. Those who wrote our history, that our people bartered their cattle when they treasured their cattle, are not telling the truth.


Our history tells us that our people treasured cattle and land and in the African culture when you come into my house I would give you a cow and a bull to start a life. [Applause.] So they took advantage of our culture as Africans.


They destroyed that culture which we had and they changed it and called it a bribe. When you come to my house you are supposed to leave with something so that you can show your family that you were in my house. That can’t be a bribe. [Applause.] So, they took that gesture and misused it and said our people bartered their cattle for mirrors. Our people used to go to the river to look at themselves. In the river you can see yourself. Why would they need mirrors in exchange for cattle?


The FF Plus goes on to say that in the Cape and in the whole of Africa there were only Khoisan people who were here and the other African people were not part of South Africa. That is not true. If you come to my house and you find me in the bedroom, but by the time you go into the kitchen you find my son, you claim that that house belongs to my son, it isn’t so. I also belong in that house; I’m in the bedroom.


So, with regard to the issue of nonviolence, when they did not have women, what did they do? They violently raped the women who were there and there is evidence. These are facts and they should dispute it if I’m not talking about facts. [Interjections.]


The issue of oppression is not a governmental issue. It is an issue of society and it evolves with society. It started from the primitive time then it evolved until we were in a capitalist society. One of the pillars of a capitalist society is the oppression of women, black or white.


In 1789, when the French people were fighting for democracy, there were women who were fighting for bread — just for bread, not even for the right to vote. But these women were never recognised by those men who were leading the movement. They were always regarded as second-class citizens, and we also liberated such women in this country, women who were second-class citizens who never had the right to vote. It is the ANC that bravely stood up and ensured that women have the right to vote. [Applause.]


In 1917, during the Bolshevik revolution, these were Russian women who also marched for bread because they were hungry. They were like us. Even today, we still have people who are living in poverty. I have never seen those, who claim that they are for the poor, changing the stance of apartheid and going to stay in a township to ensure that they know what it feels like to be poor.


In 1913, militant and gallant women fought against the pass laws and men did not even have confidence in them, but those women fought against those pass laws and they were arrested. The conditions that they were in were so appalling that the men thought these women were ridiculous to go ahead with the march and felt that they should not do it. But the women continued to say as long as the passes were there, they would continue to stay in prison despite the hardships and horrible conditions.


Therefore, you cannot separate the issue of racism and sexism in South Africa. When a woman takes a position of leadership, they associate that woman with the husband. Even in this House, members stand up to debate in this House and say that hon Motshekga got the position to sit on the ad hoc committee because he is protecting the job of hon Motshekga.


So you wonder why we have to fight for our rights when we have to be associated with our husbands or boyfriends. We are leaders in our own right. [Applause.] If you do not have confidence in your own woman with whom you stay in your house and you don’t liberate her, that is your problem.


We, as the ANC, see women as leaders and they will be chief executive officers, CEOs, of companies and leaders in this House and Speakers in this House, and we will never even allow you to undermine them. [Applause.] Because you are a male chauvinist, you come here and undermine our women. You did not fight for their rights. We fought for their rights. [Interjections.]


Patriarchy comes in different forms. You can shout all you like, but what I know is that you and I are oppressed. Period! [Applause.] It does not matter whether you are white or black, you are still oppressed. Even when you stand on this podium you are still oppressed. Today you can be raped and nothing will protect you, not these walls. It is your turn to stand up because we don’t know your problems. [Interjections.]


The issue of three contradictions in South Africa still remains despite the fact that we are liberated in South Africa. We are still oppressed as Africans because, as a woman, they will never see you as a leader. We are oppressed as a class. The working class, the middle class and even the high class, the so called owners of production are still oppressed, the bourgeois. [Interjections.] You can be a bourgeois, you are a commodity of your husband. Period!


The national democratic revolution strives to realise a united states based on the will of the people without discrimination based on race, gender, sex, belief and language. We have fought for young women to be where they are, and it is not a mistake.


Young women have occupied positions of power in our society and we will ensure that they do go up and become president one day, despite your resistance. [Applause.] It is we who liberated Helen Zille. She was groomed by the ANC! [Interjections.] [Applause.] She was groomed by us. We showed her how to lead.


Patriarchy is an instrument of resource allocation and class exploitation linked to economic exclusion. It is common knowledge that patriarchal oppression embeds itself in economic, social and religious cultures, family and other relations in our society. That is why it is erroneous to assume that eradication of patriarchy will be a natural consequence of a maturing democracy. Such utopian assumptions stem from ignorance or willfully disregarding patriarchy as an instrument of capital accumulation.


Engels contends that the supremacy of a man in a marriage is a consequence of economic supremacy. He further contends that servitude of wife in unpaid labour subjugates the woman and frees the man while entrenching capitalism.


From Engels’ theory, it is thus clear that unpaid labour, which many women still perform, inevitably subjugates such women to the platoon of supremacy of men who themselves are subjugated by capitalism. It is also clear that unpaid labour is in fact a subsidy to employers who escape from providing some means of subsistence to their employees because their wives provide such support and means for free.


Gender-based violence and vulnerability to HIV and AIDS are issues that relate to women’s rights, freedom and security of the person and to equality. It has been argued that sexual assault is not so much about sex as it is about power, violence and control over the other person. Sex is a violent medium through which men’s dominance and power are acquired.


Research has reinforced the position that motivation for committing sexual assault is not the individual’s inability to obtain satisfaction for their sexual drive because of the physical attraction of or provocation by women. Instead, it is an expression of dominance, power and contempt, a rejection of the women’s right to self-determination and a denial of her being.


Rape is not passion or lust gone wrong. It is first and foremost an act of aggression with sexual manifestations. Some researchers have proposed that in the South African environment, where working-class men daily experience oppression and impotence, their frustration arising from the public domain is likely to take expression in domination in the private realm in the form of dominating women.


Economic dependency of women has been identified as the most fundamental structural constraint that South African women face. One consequence is the perception by some men that women and their children are in some sense owned by them. This view of women as property in turn results in the view by some men that they are entitled to use violence against their women.


The Ontario Court in Canada pointed out that rape is unlike other sorts of injury incurred by accident or guilt in that rape victims ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]


Mr Z M D MANDELA: On a point of order, Chair.


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is that a point of order?


Mr Z M D MANDELA: On a point of order, Chair. Hon Chairperson, I didn’t want to interject while the hon member was still on the floor, but I would like that, particularly during these 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, we ask the Chief Whip of the Opposition to stop heckling the women. We need to protect them and they need your protection, Chair. [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, will you please continue with the debate.


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order, Deputy Chairperson: I would submit to you that I think it is very paternalistic of the hon Mandela to think that they need protection and are not able to defend themselves.


The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, that is not a point of order. Hon member, you may continue.











Ms D CARTER: Deputy Chairperson, to our mothers and our daughters out there, you are who you believe you are. Let us follow the example of Ghandi by being the change we wish to see in the world.


This morning again our nation has been shocked to the bone by the headlines of a two-year-old toddler who was brutally beaten to death in KwaZulu-Natal. The neighbours were shocked and cannot understand how a human being can inflict such pain on an innocent child: swollen head, ears torn off, cigarette burns all over her little face and body, teeth missing, tongue cut, arms broken, knee dislocated, flesh ripped from her neck, fingernails and toenails ripped from her fingers, her nose was fractured.


The neighbours stated that those four children faced the most terrible circumstances and were always seen with injuries clearly inflicted by abuse. I quote:


We intervened on many occasions, calling social workers and Childline, who said that they would attend to the matter, but they never did.


Now this child is dead.


This dereliction of duty and responsibility must please be investigated and I urge that we leave no stone unturned. The necessary action must be taken against those officials who did not do their job.


The sad reality is that this is not an isolated case. South Africa faces a globally unprecedented problem of violence against women and children. With rates of homicide, rape as well as childhood and domestic violence far above those of other countries, the problem of violence is undermining our nation’s economic and social development.


This affects people from all walks of life, regardless of their socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age or religion. The prevention and reduction of levels of violence has been a missing piece in the national transformation agenda. It needs to be addressed vigorously as a national priority for all.


One woman is killed by a partner ever eight hours in South Africa. Research has shown that one out of nine rape victims report the matter. That means that 528 000 women and children were raped during 2012 and 2013. One in three girls experience sexual violence before the age of 18 years.


When is it going to be your child, your mother, your granny? And maybe, if we can get the attention of the right-hand side of the House, we will know the importance of this debate today. The time for action is now, this minute and every minute, 525 600 minutes a year. [Time expired.]













Mr M S KHAWULA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, as we reflect on the past 16 years since the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign the IFP recommits and rededicates the entire IFP family to the cause once again.


The redirection of the campaign to focus on all South Africans, especially the male citizens of our country, is a move that we warmly welcome.


We have repeatedly made the appeal in the past that violence against women and children is not a curse that rears its ugly head only during the months of November and December in our communities. The emphasis on 365 days of activity for admonishing against violence against the women and children of our country is long overdue. The  past years’ socialisation of our communities, either formally or informally, introduced and instilled a concept of women as objects, instilled a concept of women as subordinates, instilled a concept of women as unequal.


The former practice of certain jobs being regarded as female jobs became the norm. Whilst in possession of the same qualifications and performing the same duties, this concept of women’s subordination justified the imbalances of unequal remuneration based on gender differences. Those somewhat deep-rooted misconceptions of improper practices are what we have to deal with, even in this day and age.


Gender-based violence perpetuated by the myth of muti-killing misconceptions must stop. Those who went to music lessons will know that music teachers always maintain that it is far more difficult to root out a music note wrongly taught in one system than to put in a new note correctly from the onset.


The IFP’s constitution, under Aims and Objectives 1.6 states, and I quote:


To strive towards the elimination from our society of all forms of discrimination based on race, origin, sex, colour or creed.


In the IFP we acknowledge that since the dawn of democracy in 1994, South Africa has covered some ground in changing laws and policies to protect women and children in its efforts to combat gender-based violence.


However, the pride we draw from our constitutional, legislative and legal achievements alone cannot change the minds and souls of people when they are imbued with prejudice. People’s attitudes cannot only be changed by decrees; we need combined, concerted efforts of all relevant, interested stakeholders for the transformation of society and changing of attitudes and practices to combat gender-based violence.


The momentum needs to be built up from the grassroots level and must filter through to all corners of our society – in particular men must reflect that men and women are equal.


It is imperative that we all send a strong and unequivocal message to society that any and all forms of violence against women and children are unacceptable and criminal. I thank you. [Applause.]













Mrs C DUDLEY: Chair, this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign commemorates 60 years since the signing of the Women’s Charter in 1954, 20 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa and 16 years of the 16 Days campaign.


With the maturing of this national campaign has come an important step with regard to financial implications. The ACDP welcomes much-needed research undertaken by Parliament and notes findings that reveal the lack of clarity within departments on what is spent on implementation of legislation intended to address issues of gender-based violence.


Gender-based violence has significant cost implications for the state and civil society. Therefore an improved funding model for addressing gender-based violence that includes prevention funding is essential if we are to respond adequately to the challenges of violence against women and children.


The ACDP also welcomes moves to broaden actions to eliminate violence against women and children by including civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders, media partnerships and the sport fraternity.


The ACDP has often called for increased use of communications media to help take us forward in our objective of protecting women and children from violence and abuse. Thirty years ago, for example, smoking was widely accepted, praised and glamorised in movies and on television; and it has been mass media campaigns that have informed the public of the dangers of smoking and motivated smokers to quit and others not to start. Attitudes have changed dramatically.


Safety belts provide another example of the power of the media to influence attitudes and behaviours, saving many thousands of lives. Research-based television commercials, radio, internet advertisements, billboards, posters and social media have been shown to change attitudes on environmental education to drunk driving.


In the case of rape, perceptions definitely need to change and there is a need to recognise that rape is not an act of lust, but one of anger and power, committed by a bully over a weaker victim. There is a consensus of opinion that using positive references in television soapies and product commercials can reverse culture and customs.


The ACDP has become increasingly aware that mothers and their children in our constituencies are particularly vulnerable when it comes to retention of living space. Even though women may co-own a house, they’re not able to separate from abusive partners. A focus on this issue again in a daily TV soap could galvanise community help.


Relationships and community dynamics are complex and they cannot always be dealt with by more legislation. Women do, however, need to be able to apply for houses in their own name even when married on paper, as this is causing a lot of pain. We also have access through all manner of social media to the most powerful tool for change that can reach to the most remote parts of the country and we have not yet maximised the use of this.


Thank you, hon Minister, for taking the time to talk about the need to value our children and to move away from a culture of thinking we can throw away what we don’t need. Thank you very much. [Applause.]













Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Deputy Speaker, violence against women and children is a serious concern. It cannot be correct that 20 years into our democracy we are still faced with this evil practice.


To regard women and children as unequal to men in terms of human rights is incorrect. It should be on our minds that what is good for men is also good for women and children. Domestic violence is still a big challenge in our country, Africa and the world. It should be completely stopped.


The beatings that are always carried out in our areas – beatings of women and children by men – should be totally discouraged. Laws should be tightened to curb this habit. The relevant institutions like Thuthuzela should also be spread to the grassroots people so as to help these victims.


Let us all take up arms and fight against this violence against women and our children. We should not only be active for 16 days - we should on all days at all hours be fighting against this scourge of violence. Fighting this scourge of violence should start in families and communities, and at national and even international levels.


Violence against women and children is evil. Whether it is sexual, emotional, psychological or physical – violence against women is violence against women. It cannot be otherwise.


For men to run away from maintaining their wives and children is also violence against women. There is a tendency by men to not really be prepared to maintain their children. Even those who are conceived outside marriage should be maintained by men, because that would be violence against them if they are not properly maintained. [Interjections.]


Violence against women should not only be reduced, it should be rooted out completely. This means it should come to a complete stop. Even criminals should be persuaded to stop violence against women and children. Even if this can be done against other people like men, against women and children it should be stopped. [Time expired.]




Cllr S NKATLO (Salga)







Cllr S NKATLO (Salga): Hon Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chairperson of the NCOP and hon members, good morning. It is with a great sense of appreciation that one considers the success of our highly diverse nation in internalising a sense of what it means to be a South African over 20 years since the dawn of democracy in our country.


Moreover, we have made considerable progress in instilling a human-rights-based culture amongst our citizenry, one which forcibly speaks out against violence against women and children.


Even though we have been more vocal in our condemnation of violence against women and children by raising awareness, influencing behaviour change and securing a high level of political commitment, I am saddened to say today, as we debate 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women and Children, very little progress has been made in ending violence against this section of our society.


The truth of this is revealed in a wide range of media reports and other forms of publicity, both in print and electronic media.


It is obvious that more needs to be done to ensure that decisions taken here in Parliament and that the policy and plans that are implemented do have the desired effect and that they actually benefit women and children in our country who are in desperate need of help.


However, this will not be achieved through legislation and policy alone. Local government must address gender-based violence by working together with other spheres of government and developmental partners in adopting an integrated approach. This kind of partnership will serve as an important mechanism to strengthen efforts to end gender-based violence by holding all three spheres of government, civil society and other relevant stakeholders responsible for the commitment they make.


For a violence prevention strategy to be successful it has to be unified, co-ordinated, well-resourced and directed across all government departments and civil society.


As Salga, we continue to support the campaign guided by some of the following strategies and principles: working closely with national and provincial departments and civil organisations; facilitating the sharing of knowledge on eradicating violence against women and children in municipalities; ongoing information dissemination and capacity-building; and institutionalising and localising the 365 national action plans to end gender-based violence in municipal plans and budgeting processes.


Let me conclude by reminding the House that the struggle for gender equality and children’s rights in South Africa is a battle that is far from over. We must intensify our efforts and turn the tide against one of the most heinous crimes in the world.


As the Minister of Women in the Presidency, hon Shabangu, put it, and I quote:


Our society cannot be fully free until all women are free.


I thank you all and look forward to continuing working together to advocate the call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children, as well as to fight any form of discrimination against fellow South Africans and human beings in general. I thank you. [Applause.]




Cllr S NKATLO (Salga)





Ms N I TARBELLA MARCHESI: Deputy Speaker, the 16 Days of Activism campaign this year comes to finds us in the same position we were in last year and the year before – still with unanswered questions.


Why do the levels of violence against women and children in South Africa continue to be staggeringly highly? What explains the increase of the level of rape and brutality against women, children and the elderly? What are we doing; what are we not doing?


Patriarchy, sexism and lack of political intervention are the root causes of gender-based violence. As much as we have seen political emancipation, women are still marginalised in many spheres of our society.


Tradition is used to discriminate against women instead of protecting them. Yes, we have come a long way in the last 20 years. Today our Parliament has the third largest number of women members in the world at 44%, but I’m not being controversial when I say South Africa remains a deeply sexist and patriarchal society.


This is true, despite the fact that our Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender and protects the rights of individuals to enjoy their culture according to the equality provision of the Bill of Rights.


The Constitution also makes it clear that gender equality trumps culture and tradition as women living in the rural areas are probably the most vulnerable and the most marginalised in the country. It is important that any attempt to address gender inequality focuses on traditional cultural practices, on the one hand. On the other hand, sexual violence has become a socially endorsed punitive project for the purpose of maintaining patriarchal order.


There are approximately 172 sexual assaults in South Africa each day. Also, what is most alarming – and I just want to add to what my colleague said – is the fact that the Minister was recently invited to an NGO and civil society meeting where she said, and I quote:


Men are supposed to be protectors of society. Men are supposed to be protectors of families. We need to mobilise our protectors and women should gain their confidence.


These statements were both shocking and irresponsible. [Interjections.] Yes, Minister, we welcome the statement that women should gain their confidence, but we cannot go back to the days when women depended on men. We can’t afford to make these kinds of statements, especially in a society where women are abused.


Gender-based violence affects us all, hon Chueu, in more ways than you could actually imagine. According to a recent KPMG report, the economic impact of gender-based violence in South Africa was between at least R28 billion and R48 billion for the year 2012-13. [Interjections.] I think it is good that you listen. [Laughter.]


Gender-based violence is one of the most expensive health problems. It costs South Africa between 0,9% and 1,3% of GDP every year. These figures are alarming and should be more than enough to convince President Zuma that we need a comprehensive, fully-funded, multisectoral, national strategic plan to combat gender-based violence.


Gender-based violence also results in wasted resources that could be used towards achieving the National Development Plan, NDP, goal of productive economic growth. The significant investment made by government and the private sector to grow the South African economy will be eroded as violence against women continues to rise.


In a country facing the level of gender-based violence that South Africa does, the people responsible for addressing these issues are therefore all the more important, especially — yes, I’m just as responsible — the Ministry for Women in the Presidency.


As we know and as we have been told, it is in transition and Programme 3, dealing with children and Programme 4, dealing with people with disability is being transferred to the Department of Social Development ... [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, give the member a chance to speak.


Ms N I TARBELLA MARCHESI: The Ministry is in the process of transferring Programme 3, which deals with children and Programme 4, dealing with people with disabilities to the Department of Social Development, hence Programmes 1 and 2 are still fully functional and therefore the transfer of the two programmes does not really interfere with the function of the Ministry.


However, this transfer is actually used as an excuse for poor performance. In fact, the responsibilities of the Minister have diminished drastically by 66%. The Ministry, which has been in existence since 2009, should by now have a base and the transfer of programmes should not affect its performance.


The Ministry only met 40% of its first-quarter targets and 32% of its second-quarter targets. The Ministry spends approximately 60% of its budget on salaries and the rest goes to goods and services. We need to be serious about the issues of gender-based violence.


We are still awaiting a national strategic plan which is essential in stemming our country’s epidemic of violence. The bottom line is that the Ministry of Women in the Presidency is failing women. We have become a society that is known for raping four-month-old babies and 100-year-old women, as well as hate-fuelled attacks on lesbians and mutilating women. This must come to an end.


The moral fibre of our society has collapsed. We need to take real measures to deal with this pandemic. We need to come up with measures that will ensure that we increase the number of arrests and prosecutions. Harsh sentences mean nothing if the perpetrators know that their chances of being caught are minimal. Thank you. [Time expired.]











Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, we are with you on this. I don’t see any way that I could politicise this debate because if I politicised this it would be on my conscience. [Applause.]


I want to start by firstly apologising to all women who have been abused in their marriage, be it by emotional blackmailing or not being supported financially or by a man who refuses to pay maintenance for their children.


Sometimes we men are happy outside, but when we go home we are very angry, do not have time for our children and are always reading newspapers and watching television.


We men must change our attitude and realise that women are equal to us. Their respect towards us and the comfort we derive from them must be rewarded with kindness and admiration. Every man who is here was once a child cared for by a strong women. To me, women are close to God and to disrespect them is to cut the umbilical cord of human existence and its purpose.


I would’ve been afraid to be a woman. Sometimes I even ask myself: How do they do it? Because the responsibility is too heavy. They care for the children, but they also pursue their careers.


I just want to draw your attention to an example of some of the great women of this country who actually helped us achieve the democracy we have today. One thing is for sure today, and that is I think we must acknowledge that women like the hon Speaker, Baleka Mbete, … [Applause.] … Mme Dr Mamphela Ramphele, …  [Interjections.] … hon Mme Winnie Mandela, … [Applause.] … Mme Thandie Modise … [Interjections.] I will tell you why. I was reading about her somewhere and I saw how she suffered fighting for the struggle. [Applause.]


I want to remind you of Mme Albertina Sisulu. [Applause.] You see, I would have been so scared if I were a woman, because how do you raise children and fight for the struggle? If men were to be asked today if they wanted to fall pregnant, some of us would simply run away. [Laughter.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Morena, ke nako, you must run away from the podium now! [Laughter.] Thank you very much.












The PREMIER OF LIMPOPO (Mr C S Mathabatha): Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon members, hon Speaker, fellow South Africans, perhaps one should actually start by clearing up or demystifying certain things.


You know, there’s nothing wrong with somebody protecting another. I can’t find any contradiction in what you said, hon Minister, when you said men must protect women. Equally, I wouldn’t find anything wrong about it if somebody said wives must protect their husbands ... [Interjections.] ... moreover, when you are even qualifying it by saying that women should and must remain confident. So I don’t find anything wrong in what you said.


I count it as a rare honour and a privilege to be invited to share my thoughts and experiences in this august House on the most vexing question of the abuse of women and children.


One of the most outstanding freedom fighters ever produced in the 20th century, Kwame Nkrumah, was also a revolutionary — not every freedom fighter is a revolutionary. The recent history in South Africa vindicates that. Nkrumah said, and I quote:


The freedom and development of African women is indispensible to the freedom and emancipation of the African people.


As if that were not enough, our late former President and international icon, Comrade Nelson Mandela, once said:


We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in any society, a life free from violence and fear.


That was Nelson Mandela, one of the most refined leaders that the ANC has ever produced. Only the ANC can produce such a leader. [Applause.]


In the same vein, our National Development Plan, NDP, demands of all of us to work together to ensure that people living in this country feel safe and have no fear of crime. We must therefore, in honour and memory of these heroes of our struggles – let alone the struggles waged by women throughout the continent, and beyond – intensify the battle against abuse, and reaffirm women and children as equal citizens in the land of their birth.


The past 20 years have seen us hard at work introducing progressive policies and legislation, with a view to ensuring that women reclaim their dignity in our society. Nevertheless, as we all know, changing the law can be swift, but giving effect to and changing the mindset is a much more demanding task.


The programme for the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children should therefore help raise awareness around gender-based violence as human rights abuse. It must help mobilise us behind the theme of this debate, namely, Count me in: Together moving a nonviolent South Africa forward.


It must ensure that survivors of violence are offered protection against those who can’t keep their hands to themselves. Underpinning this programme must be a working together towards the total eradication of those who believe that the only way they can prove their manhood is by abusing defenceless women and children.


For many years this form of abuse and violence against women and children has destroyed the moral and social fibre of our society. The time has come to boldly confront this monster that continues to rear its ugly head in our society. We should break the silence and speak out against the abuse of women and children.


There is no doubt in my mind that the continued abuse of our women increases the health and security costs of our country. It keeps women from showing up at work and prevents them from performing at their best.


It also keeps children out of school, and often prevents them from learning. It wounds the self-esteem of our children. It makes them feel dirty, ashamed, disillusioned, disgruntled and worse, it makes them lose faith in themselves, other people, in their immediate surroundings, and particularly in their parents.


It destroys families, relationships and lives, and often prevents children from growing up to establish successful families of their own.


I want to implore this House, in the same way we did with the apartheid system, to declare the abuse of women and children as a crime against humanity. We must work together towards its eradication from the face of society, for good.


In pursuit of the developmental state we seek to build, we must strengthen the legal framework and build a more comprehensive response to gender violence. Only a dedicated, integrated and more inclusive approach, involving a partnership between government and civil society, can help bring about fundamental changes.


It is also important that our education system should have, as its centrepiece, the education of the learners about the Constitution, its Bill of Rights and, more importantly, the implications and evils of women and children abuse.


Wherever we are, day in and day out, we should let our families, friends and peers know that they can save themselves and save the nation by changing the way they live and how they relate to one another. We should use every opportunity to openly discuss the issue of violence against women and children, let alone the danger that other social illnesses pose to the social fibre and moral regeneration of our people.


The simple but practical action that we can take is tomorrow’s insurance for our nation. We must all raise our hands and be counted in the struggle to move a nonviolent South Africa forward. Let us all remember that we are the world and we need each other. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.









The PREMIER OF LIMPOPO (Mr C S Mathabatha)




Mr N T GODI: Deputy Speaker, Comrade Minister, comrades, and hon members, the APC joins millions of progressive South Africans and Members of Parliament, MPs, in saluting the women of our country, especially African women who continue to bear the brunt of multilayered subordination and the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment.


We are here today owing in large measure to the self-sacrifice and heroism of our mothers, sisters, wives and grannies in keeping the cohesion of families and communities. These precious jewels at the centre of our existence as the human race deserve to be treated with love, care and respect.


The APC condemns those men who have no respect for women. The abuse of women – physical or emotional – is wrong and criminal, especially women with disabilities who are even more vulnerable.




Nhonga a yi aki muti.



This age-old African wisdom is instructive in that one cannot build a family through violence. The democratic state has passed progressive pieces of legislation to advance the cause of women in our country. Despite this, the lived experience of women, especially working-class women, remains an experience of worrying levels of continued violence.


We all have a role to play in continually raising society’s consciousness and rejection of violence against women.


All of us, as leaders in society, must continually raise the issue of violence against women on all public platforms we may have, not only for 16 days but continuously and vigorously throughout the year.


We must wage a resolute and unyielding struggle against gender violence in the same way we fought against white minority rule. The fight against gender violence is a fight for true humanity. I thank you. [Applause.]











Ms E R WILSON: Deputy Speaker, section 28(d) of the South African Constitution states that every child has the right “to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.”


We do not appear to have a good track record in this regard. Research by the South African Medical Research Council, SAMRC, shows that in 2009, 1 018 children under the age of 18 years were murdered. This is three children per day and double the global rate.


This number has escalated in recent years. Child abuse or neglect-related incidents accounted for 45% of these homicides; 74% of children killed in the context of abuse were under the age of five years old. These figures could be higher, as some deaths are either not reported or are not recorded as homicides.


I do not want to bore this House with statistics — although they are shocking — but they are important. In deaths of children under the age of five years, 54% of deaths were boys and 46% of deaths were girls. However, in the age groups 5 to 14 years of age, 75% of these deaths were girls. In the 15 to 17 years age bracket, 91% of homicides were girls.


Across the board, 10% of these girl-child murders were connected to rape. In 2013, 19% of children had been subjected to physical abuse, and 34% of children had been beaten or physically punished by a teacher. A total of 13% reported that they were singled out to do household chores and not sent to school, whilst 31% of young women reported that they were regularly subjected to sexual abuse before they reached the age of 18 years of age.


So, what is this string? What is the point of this string of alarming statistics? For every action, there is a reaction. Although the consequences of violence on children may vary according to its nature and its severity, the short and long-term repercussion are very often grave and very damaging.


Violence may result in greater susceptibility to lifelong social, emotional and cognitive impairments and to risky behaviour, such as substance abuse and sexual behaviour at an early age, not to mention unwanted pregnancies.


Mental health and social problems, such as anxiety and depressive disorder, hallucinations, impaired work and study performance, memory disturbances, as well as aggressive behaviour, may also be experienced. Early exposure to violence is also associated with sexually transmitted diseases, as well as later intimate partner violence and suicide attempts.


Dealing with these consequences comes with great economic costs to our society. The United States, US, estimated that the costs associated with child abuse and neglect, including future lost earnings and mental health care, stand at an estimated US$12,4 billion every year. Research by the World Health Organisation, WHO, shows that rates of homicide in children is twice as high in low-income countries as in high-income countries. South Africa is a lower-income country.


Regardless of their cultural, economic or social background, there can be no compromise in challenging violence against children. This requires transformation of the mindset of communities and the government. This government must work to address the underlying economic and social conditions associated with violence.


Growing income inequality, globalisation, migration, urbanisation, health threats, particularly the HIV/Aids pandemic, technological advances, and even armed conflict affect how we treat children. This government must reflect and analyse the impact of policies on the vulnerability of communities and their children to violence. Substantial investment must be committed to the implementation of social housing, not just for cronies and ANC card-carrying members. [Interjections.] These must be delivered.


Priority must be given to proper policies. [Interjections.] Priority must be given to proper policies, like the DA’s Growth and Jobs policy that focuses on poverty and improving linkages, participation and social networks within and between ...


Mr Z M D MANDELA: On a point of order ...


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please take your seat.


Mr Z M D MANDELA: Deputy Speaker, I would to know whether the Miss South Africa finalist would like to take a question. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, given the context of today’s debate, I think that remark is entirely out of order but, whilst you are getting the hon Mandela to withdraw that, whilst the hon Wilson was speaking, the hon Minister shouted, “You are mad!” That is an unfair reflection on a member of the House, and I would ask that you also ask her to withdraw that. [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister, is that true – what he claims? [Interjections.] Yes, he must say. Which Minister did you refer to?


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Shabangu clearly shouted, “You are mad!” [Interjections.]


The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I never said that. This hon member continually makes allegations about things which don’t exist. The problem, if he can stop pimping and trying to listen to people across and not understanding what is going on with ... [Interjections.] I was talking here. When did I say the hon member is mad?


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: The hon member there has just said that I am a liar, so I think she also needs to withdraw that. [Interjections.] Deputy Speaker, I clearly heard the Minister say to her, “You are mad.” I really would exhort the Minister to do the honourable thing, given the title and office that she holds ... [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, order!


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: ... to withdraw that.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I will talk to the Table here about it. Hon member, please let us allow the hon member to proceed and, hon member, do not ... [Interjections.] Hon members, hon Chief Whip, I cannot ... [Interjections.] What are you pointing at now?


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITON: The member who said that I am a liar – she must withdraw that.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Who is that?


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: The member over there.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Which member is that?




The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Order, order! I am here. I am rising on a point of order. The point of order is that the Rules are very clear as to what should be done. The hon Chief Whip of the DA must respect the Rules.


He stands up; he heckles; he does whatever. We were just informed now that the hon member is making her maiden speech. He must help us, the hon Chief Whip, must help us to listen, also the hon member making the maiden speech. I suggest that the House continues in that order. Thank you. [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members! Hon Minister?


The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Just to assist you, Deputy Speaker, even when we know a member is unbalanced and not really completely sane and not of sound mind, we are not allowed to say the member is mad. I support you in that, Deputy Speaker. [Laughter.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, you are not helping the Chair, and you are disputing what is happening here. The Chair cannot be expected to mediate between you. Unless we can verify what is happening, it is impossible for us to make a correct judgment on those issues.


I have asked the Minister. She says she didn’t say that. I cannot force her to say that she said it. [Interjections.] Do you understand that? So, please understand that. Hon members, let’s allow the member to finish. Hon Chief Whip, can you allow your member to finish her maiden speech?


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, I am sorry, but the Rules must be evenly applied. I am not allowed to call other members of this House a liar. I would ask that the hon member does the honourable thing and withdraws.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Which hon member is that?


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: This member over there.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, whichever member said that, can you do that please?


Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Deputy Speaker, can you please recognise me – here, over here?


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member.


Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Deputy Speaker, I would just like to say that there is a difference. When we speak, and we make insults, it is clearly a contravention of Rule 63, but abuse has been hurled across the Chamber over the past few days. I do not think there should be oversensitivity on the part of the DA. What you give, you must also be able to take. [Applause.]


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, the hon “Dunlop” is misleading this House. The hon “Dunlop” knows full well that the hon Mileham was made to withdraw a comment that was made to another member on the benches.


If we are going to be consistent, we must be consistent with the application of the Rule. If you are happy that I am being called a liar, that is fine, Deputy Speaker, but the hon “Dunlop” must understand it is also going to come her way.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Who is hon “Dunlop”?


Mr S LUZIPO: On a point of order, Deputy Speaker ...


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Chief Whip, you are killing your case, in the first place, so I am going to ask us to proceed. Hon member?


Mr S LUZIPO: I think the first thing, Deputy Speaker, we must concede is that this is a debate that is very serious about the abuse of women. When an hon member, a man, stands up and targets women in the very same debate, it is completely out of order. [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Robinson? No, hon Chief Whip, take your seat, please.


Mrs D ROBINSON: Deputy Speaker, people in these benches have indicated the lady here who said that there was a lie. Yes ... [Interjections.] ... these here, who had accused hon Steenhuisen, so I think, perhaps, may I suggest that you ask or the ladies who heard this can verify what was said.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon members! Hon member, did you say that? [Interjections.] Allow me to run this session, please. There is a member on the floor, hon Fubbs.


Ms J L FUBBS: Deputy Speaker, that is what I would like to appeal, through you, for everyone to respect. This is women’s day. We all had mothers, all of us, and I ask that you respect that.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Fubbs, you are not allowed to speak when you are not advised. Speak, hon member.


Ms T WANA: Deputy Speaker, I do not even know his name, but if there is a member who heard me saying he is a liar, let that member say so. I do not even know his name.


An HON MEMBER: You said so!


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, whilst I was on the floor addressing you, the member then said, “You are a liar.” [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, hon members! I now instruct you to put your hands down. We are proceeding with this debate. You are out of order – all of you! Hon member, proceed and speak. [Interjections.] Hon Wilson, proceed. Hon member! Hon members! Hon Chief Whip, you are out of order! [Interjections.] You are doing it in front of my eyes, and you are saying I am out of order? Hon members! Hon Wilson, proceed with your maiden speech.




The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon members, let’s let the hon member speak and finish.


The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: I just want something corrected. We heard of a member called “Dunlop.”


The CHIEF WHIP OF The OPPOSITION: Because she’s a retread! She goes over to the ANC! [Interjections.]




The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, this is an important debate here. [Interjections.] I suggest that you ... hon members! I now suggest that we allow the member to proceed to speak so that we conclude this debate in a proper manner. Hon members, it is unbecoming, the way you are conducting yourselves.


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Maybe you should conduct the House properly!


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is inappropriate. I told you before, hon member, that your screaming match in the House is out of order.


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Because you are not controlling the House properly! You are not controlling the House!


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Wilson, finish your speech.


Ms D VAN DER WALT: Hon Deputy Speaker, may I please address you? The hon member from the NCOP that was just called, and which you have said she is not going to, is just pulling faces and sticking out her tongue. [Interjections.] So, can she also stop doing that? I think during a women’s day debate, coming from a woman, it is an absolute disgrace. [Interjections.]


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, you are really a disgrace, yourselves. Both of you are a disgrace, and it is despicable of you to be behaving like that, including yourself, Chief Whip – your screaming – including the member sitting over there. You are a disgrace and completely out of order. Hon Wilson, finish your speech. I will not allow anybody else to interrupt you anymore. [Interjections.]


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: You are supposed to protect all of us, not only your members!


Ms E R WILSON: Deputy Speaker, priority must be given to proper policies, like the DA’s Growth and Jobs policy, which focuses on poverty and improving linkages, participation, and social networks within and between different community groups, thereby fulfilling economic, social and cultural rights.


The Western Cape government has had great success with these policies, and we are willing to share this information for the betterment of South Africa and the protection of our children.


It is essential that appropriate child rights training is implemented within the police force. This includes information on appropriate ways to deal with all children, particularly those from marginalised groups and those who are subject to discrimination. Police must be educated about the dynamics and nature of violence against children. In some areas communities do not trust police or others in authority.


Social development, as a matter of urgency, must address the critical shortage of specialised social workers to ensure early access and follow-up counselling for victims and perpetrators. In some areas, it is taking up to 12 months for severely traumatised children to get access to social workers because they have such a phenomenal backlog or there are so very few of them. Alternatively, appropriate nongovernmental organisations must be properly funded to assist in this regard.


The protection of children from violence is a matter of urgency and must be prioritised for the future of this country. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.] [Interjections.]










The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Deputy Speaker, Speaker, hon members, special delegates and fellow South Africans, I want to start off by honouring a very quiet, caring and tireless fighter for the rights of women in this country – Dolly Maister. [Applause.] She died happy, knowing that her efforts had been recognised in her campaign which she had started in 1971 to help move South Africa from the space she was in – I’m referring to South Africa when I say “she” – where only the rich, the connected and the white could access services to terminate unwanted pregnancies.


She started campaigning for termination, especially in rape cases. We salute this woman, this daughter of Christiana in the North West.



A robale ka kagiso.



Deputy Speaker, it is a fact that throughout the world women, children, the elderly and people living with disabilities are subjected to violence and discrimination. It is also a fact that race and gender play a big role in the severity of the violence.


It is indisputable that unemployment, poverty and the location of the victims are also contributing factors that could aggravate the severity of violence and the exposure to violence.


It is also a fact that in all forms of conflict, women and children become trophies; they become symbols which must be obliterated by men against men; and they become things and objects. Domestic violence can be classified as mini conflicts which happen within our bedrooms, in our streets and in our communities.


Therefore, the same tactics that we as general society want to employ, must be employed by ensuring that where government cannot come and police in my household, in my kitchen, in my community and in my street, I begin to stand up next to the Minister and say, count me in because I shall stop being quiet; ... [Applause.] ... count me in because I am going to be the advocate against violence that is perpetuated against people living with disabilities; count me in because domestic violence knows no race, understands no ideology and hits women across the floor; and count me in because one of the things which should be unifying South African women and South African parents is our stance, even as public representatives in this House, to say that we will be united in a campaign that will focus on the problems and challenges that we face as society, and we will be united in finding solutions.


The launch of this campaign does not expose us to a discussion on the budget of the department of the Minister. We are not interested in that today, but we are interested in South Africans, public representatives, the general public, taking a stand by saying, “I will no longer be complicit and thereby become a secondary criminal by keeping quiet, and by not reporting and taking the fight to the criminals who continue to abuse our women; abuse the elderly; and abuse the disabled, and where even that abuse is brought into the offices of government and into the Houses.”


We need to start being serious about how we want to drive this. We need to start looking at the policies; they are there Minister. Good.


We need to ensure that they are implemented. We need to relook – and I am very happy that the Minister has taken a view which says she is going to reopen consultation on the women’s equality Bill, because there is a lot of work that needs to be redone on the Bill. [Applause.] So, we will stand up and say, “We are going to be counted in.”


Minister, we are very proud that Gauteng is taking a lead in their discussions to get into the issues which make our women end up in the space where they become sex workers. We are very happy that we are taking that stand. We want to say, count us in and say that with regard to the issues around lesbians, gays and transsexuals, we will be counted in because we think there is something very wrong with a definition of democracy and equality which does not look at all sectors and all the ills within our societies.


We want to say that we will not be deterred. We want to make sure that we will stand by and call South African men to order, because, whose houses were targeted during the elections? It was female councillors’ houses. It was not male councillors’ houses. It was female mayors who were put on the run. So we need to begin to accept the hon members who came here from all parties who spoke about this mantra; about this refusal of South Africa to get rid of this heavy cloak of patriarchy; about discrimination; and about sexism and racism. We need to get into that space and say that ... [Applause.] ... we shall be counted in; we shall stand up; we shall speak across as parties; we shall speak across classes and races; and we shall unite as South Africans to ensure that our voices, the voices of reason, the voices of women, will be heard and that programmes will be supported. [Applause.]


Minister, we must also say that the criticism directed at your predecessor and at you will come because, even though we have a Ministry which must focus on women, this Ministry – if you look at the programmes – is usually not adequately funded to execute its work. So, before we lynch these women who lead this portfolio, we must also look at what enables them to execute.


Again, as women Parliamentarians across the board, we must be able to say that we shall stand up and approach Treasury to say, please give a little bit more because ... [Applause.] ... the statistics are shocking, Minister.


When you look at South Africa, we know that the rate of absorption of women into the corporate world in South Africa is 30% lower than men. We also know that 60% of women in South Africa live in poverty, as compared to 48% of men.


We also know that 40% of South Africa’s households are headed by women, and that 75% of the 40% has been classified as completely poor. We also know that 60% of rural women and 40% of urban women are unemployed.


Therefore, we know that you are not going to deal with affirming, equating and mainstreaming issues of gender because you have women who are outside the economic life of our country. So we need to begin to do things which will enable women to march forward unfettered.


We need to begin to say to hon Carter for instance – you told us a horrible story in the House – that there are members of the executive who don’t sit far from you and there are Deputy Ministers who don’t sit far from you. Next time, shake them, tell them and give them the addresses. [Applause.]


Let the Ministers and Deputy Ministers start being advocates of ensuring that there is no violence in our communities so that we self-select members. We stand up and we don’t point fingers, because even if you pass 100 Bills and Acts, domestic violence starts with the individual. It is something which we must entrench in our own minds and in how we bring up our children. It does not need us making noise; it needs us to act together collectively, to ensure that we act.


So count me in, Minister; I volunteer. Count me in to deal with rural issues; count me in to deal with the Traditional Courts Bill, to make sure that, even though we accept that we are multicultural, let multiculturalism never, never undermine the march of South African women to be truly equal. I thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]


Debate concluded.


The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly adjourned the Joint Sitting at 12:04.






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