East London men showed their solidarity on Friday with SA’s women and children, in a march against gender-based violence. (GBV).
The group, under the theme “Men Rising against Femicide” (#MRAF), marched from the North End Stadium to the City hall where they handed over a memorandum to Buffalo City Metro mayoral committee member Xolani Witbooi, who accepted it on behalf of the mayor Xola Pakati.
“We as men of this city are aware that violence against women and children has reached levels that are unacceptable and cause untold harm,” march organiser Litha Sihawu said.
“As men rising against femicide, we have decided to take it upon ourselves to go the streets and rise up against this barbarism by our brothers against women and children.
“We are also aware it is us as men who are at great fault for these barbaric, heartless acts.”said march organiser Litha Sihawu said.
The memorandum laid out a list of demands for not only the state but also men as a whole.
”We believe that an integrated approach to fight against gender-based violence where different arms of government work together, has the ability to ensure better protection for women,” Sihawu said.
The march was triggered by the tragic deaths of Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was raped and killed by a post office worker, and boxing champion Leighandre “Baby-Lee” Jegels, who was shot dead by her police officer ex-boyfriend, in August.
Jennifer James, a speaker at the march, shared her unfortunate experience as a victim of abuse. an abuse victim.
“I was once physically abused while I was eight months pregnant. I also know what it is like to be raped by your own husband,”
Standing at the entrance of the city hall, James shared heartbreaking incidents she endured in her marriage. James said.
“There was one point where I had to jump out of a moving vehicle and leave my children in the house, because I was running away from a man who was supposed to protect me.”
Speaking on behalf of Pakati, Witbooi said: We as the BCM community must prioritise the safety of women and children, [and] we as BCM are we are willing to open our hands and doors to this initiative #MRAF has started.”