When I heard of Karabo Mokoena`1s brutal killing by her lover, I wanted to go to the funeral house to share in the pain of the family, unfortunately I could not make it. I followed the story closely and I will continue going forward. However that same week, we heard in the news that another young woman and more others had been killed too in the hands of men. More than five different reported tragic incidents of women`s lives cut short in one week. It dawned on me that more and more women who dont make it to news headlines are dying due to gender based violence and there isnt much that is being done about it. I then decided I was going to join the ANCWL as it visited the family of the slain Lerato Moloi of Naledi, Soweto, one of the many that had been slain that week. I wanted to be part of the pain and outrage with those who were close to her. A march was organised to the Naledi Police Station after the family visit to demand justice for Lerato and to say enough is enough!
On my way to Naledi that week I used a taxi from Bree taxi rank. While sitted in the taxi and on our way, I realised that the killings of women in such gruesome ways had touched me deeply and threatened my being, while women had been dying in the hands of men long before, these latest incidents came with a reawakened consciousness of powerlessness and fear as a woman. It was infact personal. I was so scared, I asked myself what if the driver detours and the next thing we are raped and killed or kidnapped to a place we dont know? The thought sent cold chills in my spine! The death of all women who die in the hands of men is personal because it could be me. Gender based violence and woman abuse is personal, rape and rape culture is personal, patriarchy is personal, capitalism is personal. We were lucky we arrived safely but its not everyday that women are lucky in the different spaces they occupy.
The recent multiple attacks on women, kidnapping, gender based violence, rape, rape culture and deaths of women and girls must not only be condemned, to say we condemn it as Minister Shabangu said is not enough, to say there is a devil and we must pray is also not enough by the Minister. We need tangible responses to this tragedy, we need action and programmes to be put in place that speak to the safety of our women and children. We need radical policies and laws that protect women and the different cases of gender based violence must serve as a basis for such laws. The current laws are very rigid and hard on women. It is difficult to report an abuser or rapist who is not caught in the act and have a successful case, so our laws need to change and become gender sensitive. We also need to itensify gender education from pre - schools to University. These are debates we wish Minister of women must lead and guide the government on.