Protesters march against gender based violence

Assembly

On 21st May 2019 it was reported that hundreds of residents of Henley Village in Pietermaritzburg took to the streets to protest against water scarcity, which they said had been going on for two years. The protesters barricaded the main road using bricks and burning tyres and vowed to block the road until the shortage was addressed. Police however responded by dispersing the crowd using rubber bullets and teargas, leaving two protesters injured. Addressing the protesters, Msunduzi municipality mayor, Themba Njilo promised to provide two water tankers as a temporary solution. The residents however dismissed that proposal, adding that two water tankers were inadequate to serve the whole community.

One resident, Mary Sishi, 60, said:

"I should be at home but I can't let others fight for me. I have a tap at home but it's been dry for years."

On 4th September 2019, protesters in Cape town marched outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) where the World Economic Forum was happening to protest against gender based violence. The protesters were heard chanting ‘Where is Cyril? Where is Cyril?’

Police used stun grenades and water cannon to disperse the protesters who carried placards with the names of murdered University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, Meghan Cremer whose body was found in Philippi, and Lynette Volschenk who was dismembered in her own home.

Speaking on the sidelines of the protest, Dr Olive Shisana, the chairperson of the interim committee on gender-based violence and femicide said that more effective efforts need to be made to prevent the assaults and not just respond to victims. She added that several provinces were being consulted over a proposed strategy to prevent violence, and costing was being done.

On 13th September 2019, women gathered and protested in the streets of Johannesburg following the release of the South African Police Service's (SAPS) crime statistics, which revealed that 2,771 women had been murdered in the past fiscal year while 36,507 others reported cases on gender based violence in the same period. The protesters, who started gathering at 03:00 am at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, Johannesburg, called on the government to introduce initiatives that will protect women against gender based violence.