New DA Women's Network leader pays tribute to domestic abuse victims

07 April 2018 - 17:38
By Aphiwe Deklerk
Image: Gallo Images

Newly elected DA Women's Network (Dawn) leader‚ Nomafrench Mbombo‚ has used her maiden address to pay tribute to women who have died due to domestic abuse.

Mbombo‚ who is also Western Cape MEC for health‚ was elected on Friday during the DA elective conference. She leads the first elected Dawn structure because previously the structure was co-opted.

Mbombo beat Eastern Cape MPL Veliswa Mvenya and Shehana Gaibie for the position.

"This month‚ you may recall that‚ it marks one year since the remains of 22-year-old Karabo Mokoena were discovered in a ditch here in Joburg‚ necklaced‚ burnt beyond recognition [like] so many others around the country‚" said Mbombo.

She said media reports suggested that Mokoena had been abused and ultimately faced death allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe.

Mbombo said Mokeona's fate was shared by many women across South Africa like Nosipho Mandleleni who was beaten to death with a sjambok or Nopinki Fuba who was also beaten to death because of her sexuality.

"You can recall Hannah Cornelius who was abducted‚ raped and left to die …this is a reality faced by South Africans‚ women are murdered in South Africa every day. All credible evidence suggests that abuse impacts negatively on women's ability to reach their full potential to partake fully in their communities and their society‚" said Mbombo.

She said there were also small and subtle ways where women were told they were second-class citizens‚ like when a girl child has had to miss school because they didn’t have sanitary towels‚ teenagers who are forced to abandon their schooling due to falling pregnant or young women who are denied job opportunities because an employer does not believe in their abilities.

"Every year we attempt to create awareness [through the 16 days of activism against violence on women and children but] this is not enough … this must be a fight to take every day of the year‚ to create one South Africa for all citizens regardless of gender‚ age or sexuality‚" said Mbombo.

She called for simple justice‚ equal opportunity and human rights for women. Mbombo said she would not rest until she has done all in her power to eradicate inequality and gender based violence.

"Together we will be the voice of the voiceless and the shield for those who need protection. When we work together‚ we can be able achieve so much. No women will be left behind‚" said Mbombo.

She said women should work together to breach the gap of economic exclusion‚ gender equity and intellectual contribution.