Opposition parties respond to President Cyril Ramaphosa's plan to tackle gender-based violence
Opposition parties expressed concern at the government's slow pace in dealing decisively with gender-based violence.
They aired their views in parliament on Wednesday, when President Cyril Ramaphosa detailed his plan of action to tackle the issue.
DA: 'It's not good enough'
Describing gender-based violence as a “dark stain”, DA leader Mmusi Maimane called on the government to do more to ensure that perpetrators of crimes against women and children were convicted. “The conviction rate is less than 5% and, Mr President, that's not good enough.” Maimane also said the laws used to deal with gender-based crimes needed to be revisited, as they may be redundant.
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IFP: 'You lead a country of lawlessness'
The IFP's Liezl van der Merwe said hardly anything had changed since the murder of Karabo Mokoena in 2017. “You lead a country of lawlessness, a war zone, where women face war in schools, post offices and at our homes.” Van der Merwe urged Ramaphosa to act swiftly on his plan. She also asked for the deployment of more social workers in communities.
EFF: 'More education needed'
The EFF's Veronica Mente shared Van der Merwe's sentiments and delved into the importance of equipping police with the skills and training needed to deal with victims of domestic abuse and gender-based violence.
She also called for more education on the issue. “The mere fact that the child is yours does not mean that you can violate or abuse them. The mere fact that the wife is yours does not mean that you can force sex on them.”