WATCH | Heartbreaking tales of rape at anti-GBV protest outside parliament
“Uyinene [Mrwetyana] was one of the women who showed us men would never have her power. She fought. Many of them have fought and we are fighting in their name,” Thandile Ngxikwe shouted into a loud-hailer to hundreds of protesters in Cape Town on Tuesday morning.
Protesters dressed in black held up signs as victims of sexual abuse spoke openly about their experiences.
“At 11 years old, I was molested by someone very close to my family, someone I trusted,” said Yolisa Zakufa. “I didn't know what was going on, I didn't know any better and I was too ashamed to say anything.”
The protesters lay on a damp road outside parliament and observed five minutes of silence for the victims of gender-based violence (GBV).
They said they were there to protest what they perceived as the government's lack of response to GBV.
“We, as the womxn [sic], youth and queer bodies of South Africa, have for years voiced our concerns and pleas with the government to take the femicide rate and instances of gender-based violence more seriously,” read the memorandum from the Anti-GBV Movement group.
“Enough is enough. Gender-based violence must fall. Patriarchy must fall. Misogyny must fall. Queerphobia must fall. Hate must fall. Men do not own our bodies. We have every right to speak out and demand our safety, as it is enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” the memorandum said.
The demands set out by the group called for the prevention of bail for any person charged with sexual offences or who has a history of sexual offences, a list of sex offenders to be made public and frequent meetings with government regarding GBV.