ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini wants an urgent meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa on gender-based violence (GBV) and the castration of rapists.
Dlamini told the Sunday Times a state of emergency would allow the government to tackle such violence in the way it had done with Covid-19.
“The president must co-ordinate political parties so that we have buy-in,” she said.
The league made similar proposals last year and Dlamini said she was unhappy that ANC MPs ignored the league’s call for a private member’s bill that would require rape accused to prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt.
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina was not aware of the proposal for a private member’s bill. “As ANC chief whip, I have not received that proposal,” she said.
Dlamini’s call follows a recent surge in the abuse and killing of women. This week Ramaphosa called for an examination of the contribution of liquor to the violence.
“It is not alcohol that rapes or kills a woman or a child. Rather, it is the actions of violent men. But if alcohol intoxication is contributing to these crimes, then it must be addressed with urgency,” said Ramaphosa.
His spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said yesterday: “He has also called on law enforcement to act against liquor outlets that violate the terms of their licences. Government will also consult widely on further and tougher measures to curb alcohol abuse.
“The fight against GBV is not only about alcohol abuse, though. Rather it requires multiple interventions, starting with behavioural change amongst men and boys, ending the culture of silence around GBV, strengthening the criminal justice system and expanding support and care for victims, among others.”
Justice and constitutional development minister Ronald Lamola said various bills were being processed to strengthen the justice system’s ability to deal with genderbased violence.
He said the National Register of Sexual Offences Bill, which would be “before cabinet” next month, aimed to expand the scope of the register, and the Criminal Law Amendment Bill would toughen the bail regime for suspected sex offenders and review parole eligibility for convicts who targeted “vulnerable persons”.
Lamola said the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill would “further facilitate the obtaining of protection orders against acts of domestic violence” and compel the department of social development to provide support for victims of domestic violence.
The amendment would also seek to tighten the non-withdrawal clause in the Domestic Violence Act.
This follows the withdrawal of more than half of the 390,000 domestic violence civil cases registered in the 2018/2019 financial year.