MEDIA STATEMENT: Call for government to urgently act and end violence in society.

MEDIA STATEMENT: Call for government to urgently act and end violence in society.

Join #UniteBehind in a Public Action Against Violence on Thursday, September 12.

#UniteBehind is deeply concerned about the scourge of violence in our country and calls for restraint, unity and decisive action from government. 

We will be having a public action against all forms of violence in Cape Town at the Grand Parade from 12pm until 3pm.

Violence against women and femicide 

South Africa is currently experiencing violence against women and killings, in both private and public spaces—in homes, trains, post offices, university campuses. We remember and send condolences to the families of Uyinene Mrwetyana, Leighandre Jegels, Meghan Cremer, and many more who have been killed in cold blood by men. We are also aware of women in Cape Flats in places like Elsies River Gugulethu and Langa whose suffering has been largely normalized.  South Africa has for a long time remained one of countries with a high female interpersonal violence death rate according to the World Health Organisation.

Xenophobic Violence 

At the same time we are seeing rising xenophobia. Xenophobic violence has spread around Johannesburg and Pretoria and threatens to spread across the whole country. 

All these forms of violence threaten to tear apart our nation. Shops of foreign nationals have been raided, first by police and then by criminals. Foreign nationals are being targeted and killed. In Gauteng at least 10 people have been murdered. We call for unity among all Africans and ubuntu. We are all humans and must respect each other’s rights and dignity.

As #UniteBehind, we stand for a just and equal society and not one characterized by fear and fascism. 

We salute the women and children that have come out in communities against violence. We call for all communities to continue the resistance against VIOLENCE, KILLING OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN, XENOPHOBIC VIOLENCE and GANGSTERISM.

#UniteBehind unreservedly condemn xenophobic violence that is spreading throughout the country again. The specter of 2008 and 2015 must be stopped. Violence is tearing our society apart. We condemn violence and want safety and peace in our communities. 

We call upon the government to take decisive and strategic action to stop violence against women, violence against foreign nationals and gang violence by addressing the structural problems around violence in our society. 

All these forms of violence are interlinked and we need to address the massive unemployment, inequality and poverty that allow them to manifest. We need proper plans and implementation to end these forms of violence. We need more than acts of condemnation from government, we need action now! 

#UniteBehind is a coalition of people’s movements joined by legal, policy and research organisations working for a just and equal society where the people share in the country’s wealth and our environment is protected for future generations.