ANC accused of failing women
THE ANC-led government came under heavy criticism in Parliament yesterday for its response to the scourge of violence against women and children.
During a debate sponsored by the DA’s Zakhele Mbhele, the opposition blamed the government for the lack of resources at police stations and the closure of sexual offences courts in recent years.
The parties also took a swipe at the Minister for Women, Susan Shabangu, who was not part of the debate.
The DA’s deputy chief whip, Mike Waters, said the debate on the matter was held yearly, yet nothing happened afterwards.
“There is no political will from government to change the situation. About 10 years ago, centres of excellence were closed, and family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) units were shut. This was the response to a national emergency,” he said.
“We have to stop talking shop on the abuse of women and start putting money where our mouths are. It is time we saw action from the ANC government in this regard.”
His colleague, Mbhele, also accused the ANC government of failing to protect women and children.
“The last 23 years of ANC governance have shown that the ANC is incapable of making our country safe for all women. This is why the time for change is ripe.”
He said the violence was made worse by ineffective policing and police indifference to many cases and victims.
“South Africa needs an emergency plan on women’s safety. We do not need more empty promises. They need to start with capacitating the FCS units in the SAPS,” Mbhele said. The EFF’s Hlengiwe Hlophe took a swipe at Shabangu, asking why a minister overseeing a portfolio on women was not at the debate.
“She did not see the need to be part of this debate,” she said, before lashing at Shabangu for her reported comments that the scourge was caused by the devil.
“The ANC government is failing the women of this country,” Hlophe said.
Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize said: “We should find solace in knowing that the rights of women and children are protected in the constitution.”
‘It is time we saw action from party’