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Sat Oct 25 04:47:12 SAST 2014

Hard conversations required to halt the scourge of rape

The Times Editorial | 18 February, 2013 00:25

The Times Editorial: The war against rape and abuse of women will not be won if we continue to bury our heads in the sand and hope divine intervention will help us.

What is needed in this country is a real and hard conversation with all men.

We should stop being politically correct and just call a spade a spade.

We fully agree with Justice Malala in today's column that the time for talk is over.

"It's time to act, urgently.

"It's time to do something about men, about how we make them and groom them and set them out into the world to rape and to kill women.

"It is men, singly and in groups, who do this. It is men who are our sons, our brothers, our friends, us, who commit this most heinous of crimes.

''The conversation needs to happen among men, and the concomitant action needs to be taken among and towards men,'' Malala shouts.

As we battle to cope with stories of rape, murder and continuing abuse of women, the conversation needs to top our list from parliament to the corporate world.

If we speak and act against this scourge that continues to scar our country, we are in position to find solutions.

Those who rape, assault and kill women live among us.

We share with them our lunch boxes, and we attend church with them but we are unable to speak out when they maim women.

We keep quiet with the hope that the abusers will mend their ways voluntarily.

Malala hit the nail on the head when he said the problem of rape and abuse of women lies with men.

"It is men who rape. It is men who protect and defend the men who rape.

"It is men who badger and bully and force women and abused children not to report the chief, priest, sangoma, uncle, relative, who has committed this crime."

While the government is promising to re-establish specialised sexual offences courts, real conversation with all men from a young age needs to take centre stage.

Let the conversation in our homes, churches, offices, taxi ranks and social clubs begin and let's heal our wounded nation of this sickness.

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