Amnesty International’s South African branch on Thursday urged the government and its people to end the rampant impunity surrounding Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country.The country has seen an increased number of reported cases of GBV since the start of Level 3 coronavirus lockdown in June.
One of the shocking incidents was that of a pregnant Soweto woman who was found hanging from a tree. Her body had stab wounds.
Reacting to such incidents, AI (SA) South Africa should not allow the current surging of femicide to continue unabated, and only for silence to follow after the misdeeds.
“The government and people must tackle GBV with the same zeal and coordinated effort as they have demonstrated with coronavirus pandemic,” according to Amnesty International South Africa’s Executive Director Shenilla Mohamed on Thursday.
Mohamed said: “It is time to smash the silence. Not just government silence — but societal silence, too. Each and every one of us must ring the bell on abuse, interrupt abusers and refuse to stand back and allow this shadow pandemic of violence to continue.”
The organisation reiterated its call for government to increase its efforts in ensuring that the rights of women and girls were upheld and protected.
“The South African government must fulfil its promise to introduce and implement legislation on GBV without any further delays. Only urgent, decisive and concrete action will bring the crucial change needed to stop South Africa’s war on women and girls,” she said.
The human rights body was responding to a debate in Parliament on gender-based violence (GBV), held amid protests outside the House in Cape Town this week.