Min­is­ter Sha­bangu is a dis­grace to South African women

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

She is prov­ing to be their en­emy by sit­ting on the side­lines, watch­ing as they’re be­ing de­stroyed

GREET­INGS Mrs Sha­bangu Amid women abuse in our coun­try, your depart­ment – much like your work – is a well-kept se­cret. As with many oth­ers, be­fore I be­came an em­ployee of the Depart­ment of Women, I was not aware of its ex­is­tence. Still, I thought you could be ex­cused for I joined your depart­ment in 2015 with the min­istry hav­ing been es­tab­lished in May 2014.

And just like many South Africans, I found ex­cuses for you. Why we con­tinue to tol­er­ate po­lit­i­cal fig­ures like you who are un­der­per­form­ing re­mains a mys­tery. We need to be ruth­less with in­di­vid­u­als like you.

How­ever, we seem to al­ways be pre­pared to al­low, ac­cept and en­dure your in­ef­fi­ciency and cor­rup­tion in the name of “We are a young democ­racy” or “It’s our peo­ple”.

You, Mrs Sha­bangu, are no per­son of mine. You po­si­tioned your­self as the en­emy of women in this coun­try when you de­cided to sit on the side­lines and watch them be de­stroyed even though your man­date is to cham­pion their ad­vance­ment and the pro­mo­tion of gen­der equal­ity.

I have no idea how you still oc­cupy the po­si­tion you do in the high­est of­fice in the land. Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma was sup­posed to have fired you long ago, know­ing that you do not de­liver on your man­date and obli­ga­tion, but that would be ex­pect­ing too much from him as well.

I have no faith in you be­cause I have served un­der you and was also part of your ex­ec­u­tive meet­ings. I know that you have no se­ri­ous agenda for the women of our coun­try. You are no ad­vo­cate of ours and nei­ther do you have any in­ter­est in be­ing one.

Your depart­ment is a night­mare that op­er­ates on gos­sip. Its main fo­cus is to get rid of cer­tain peo­ple who served un­der your pre­de­ces­sor Lu­lama Xing­wana. As women of South Africa, we must cull you and your di­rec­tion­less lead­er­ship.

South African women must re­ject you and your zero ef­fort to carry out your man­date and re­spon­si­bil­ity as a min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for them.

It was sup­posed to be you who called Mr Malusi Gi­gaba out, when he passed laws whereby chil­dren born out of wed­lock needed an af­fi­davit in which the ab­sent par­ent gave con­sent for the child to travel. He also re­quired a court or­der or le­gal guardian­ship of the child or death cer­tifi­cate of the ab­sent par­ent. This in a coun­try where nearly two thirds of South African chil­dren grow up with­out fa­thers in their homes.

You, Mrs Sha­bangu, re­fused to call out your col­league, the mayor of uThukela, who had a bur­sary scheme to award vir­gins. Tears welled up in my eyes as you re­peat­edly re­fused to take in­ter­views or speak about the mat­ter. In truth, we both know you saw noth­ing wrong with her ini­tia­tive, which an­swers the ques­tion my former GCIS col­leagues al­ways ask: Why do com­mu­ni­ca­tors not last in your depart­ment?

I guess no self-re­spect­ing pro­fes­sional will al­low a shame­less in­ef­fec­tual, ho­mo­pho­bic, anti-fem­i­nist and tra­di­tion­al­ist like you to make them look in­com­pe­tent. You be­lieved Zulu cul­ture was be­ing dis­re­spected when the Com­mis­sion for Gen­der Equal­ity ruled that women should not be awarded bur­saries based on their vir­gin­ity.

In the main, Mrs Sha­bangu, you have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to call on Mr Fik­ile Mbalula to pri­ori­tise re­build­ing the trust of vic­tims of rape and women abuse in the po­lice. You should know that our po­lice are at the fore­front of dis­cour­ag­ing vic­tims from re­port­ing crimes be­cause they them­selves are abu­sive and dis­mis­sive. We can­not al­low a sit­u­a­tion where we ac­cept that our women and chil­dren have stopped re­port­ing crimes like rape and abuse be­cause of govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

As a leader in the ANC and the coun­try re­spon­si­ble for women, your si­lence was deaf­en­ing when a 20-year-old gave shock­ing de­tails about what tran­spired be­tween her and the then ANC chair­per­son in the West­ern Cape.

You never sum­moned the min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion to see how you could re­solve the is­sue of girls who dropped out of school be­cause of the lack of san­i­tary ne­ces­si­ties. Our coun­try is faced with a high rate of teenage preg­nan­cies, yet you are tightlipped. You and your col­league should be aware of these atroc­i­ties but more im­por­tantly, you should have a plan to res­cue our girl child. Mrs Sha­bangu, what is your plan? I will make a call to ev­ery­one to stand with us, to join us and sup­port us in up­root­ing sex­ual violence against women and chil­dren in our com­mu­ni­ties. I will re­mind them that ev­ery cit­i­zen who stands by and does not join this fight while women are hu­mil­i­ated, bru­tally mur­dered raped and ripped from the face of the Earth is equally re­spon­si­ble.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.