Government's tweet that women 'should not allow themselves to become victims' widely condemned
The official SA government Twitter feed on Monday lamented that violence, rape and assault on women had become "so common" - but was slated for saying that women should "not allow themselves to become victims".
In a thread made up of 10 tweets, the @GovernmentZA account said it joined the country in its anger over the rape and murder of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
The first-year film and media studies student went missing last Thursday and was confirmed dead on Monday.
Mrwetyana's death was confirmed during court proceedings at the Wynberg magistrate's court, where a 42-year-old post office employee allegedly confessed to the crime. He was charged with murder, rape and defeating the ends of justice.
"Govt joins SA in the anger against the abuse of #UyineneMrwetyana. Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights, and we are calling on law enforcement agencies to ensure the wheels of justice are turned in this case.
"It is worrying that violence, rape and abuse seem to have become so common and govt is sounding the clarion call to all SAfricans to fight this deeply-rooted scourge," the thread started.
However, it was a follow-up post that was met with outrage.
"Violence and abuse against women have no place in our society. Govt is calling on women to speak out, and not allow themselves to become victims by keeping quiet. Women who speak out are able to act, eﬀect change and help others," the tweet read.
Violence and abuse against women have no place in our society. Govt is calling on women to speak out, and not allow themselves to become victims by keeping quiet. Women who speak out are able to act, eﬀect change and help others.— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) September 2, 2019
One user commented: "I am struggling to understand the phrasing of this statement. These survivors were not victims because they didn’t speak out. They were victims because their human rights were violated. Femicide in South Africa is a crime against humanity."
Other questioned the use of the word "allow".
"She was raped and murdered in a post office. She was trying to run a goddamn errand. You are a disgrace," one user said.
Another tweeted: "ALLOW THEMSELVES?! Are you actually...... Yoh I’m DONNNNE. Bye."