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Maite Nkoana-Mashabane launches Women’s Month with calls for justice after Krugersdorp rapes

03 August 2022 - 07:30
Minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has joined the voices of outrage over the attacks. File photo.
Minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has joined the voices of outrage over the attacks. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe/The Times

Minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane officially launched Women’s Month 2022 this week with a plea for justice for eight women who were gang raped in Krugersdorp.

The women were attacked, allegedly by a group of zama-zamas, at an abandoned mine in the area last Thursday. The attack sparked anger and saw more than 80 undocumented suspects arrested in 24-hours in West Village. They are being held for contravening the Immigration Act.

Speaking at the opening of Women’s Month, Nkoana-Mashabane described the attacks as “despicable” and called for justice.

“Young women in Krugersdorp were violated and raped while shooting a music video. Unemployment is high and to hear the young women were approached by a group of men who raped and robbed them of their belongings is despicable.

“We are thankful for the interventions by police and the apprehension of suspects, and we hope there will be convictions soon. We are also thankful as the young women are receiving psychosocial support for them and their families to overcome this ordeal.”

She said 28 years into democracy, women remain on the periphery of the country’s developmental agenda.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened existing inequalities, leaving millions of women at the receiving end of high levels of poverty, increasing food and fuel prices, climate change, unemployment and high rates of gender-based violence and femicide.

“We find ourselves in a moment of crisis where we need to act collectively to defend the democratic gains the women of 1956 worked so hard to achieve.”

She echoed the calls of struggle stalwart Ida Mntwana in urging for unity and determination to “go forward with courage”.

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