ANC ac­cused of fail­ing women

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

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’

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