News 24 13 September 2019

Crowds have been gathering since 03:00 on Friday at the JSE in Sandton, Johannesburg, to protest against gender-based violence. 

This follows the release of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) crime statistics on Thursday, which revealed that were 2 771 women murdered in the past fiscal year – a decrease of 5.4%, but still a significant number. 

In addition, 36 597 sexual offences against women were reported in the same period. 

Gender-based violence has been in the spotlight in the past few weeks following the brutal murders of several woman, which sparked the #AmINext movement that saw several women outing alleged sexual offenders. 

Around 10 000 people are expected to protest at the JSE on Friday.

The protest action has been organised by 72 organisations who say they have had enough. Footage on eNCA showed a large number of spirited protesters turning up in large numbers with the message: “Hands off our womxn”.

Bathabile Dlamini chased away

The ANC Women’s League joined the protesters in their official regalia but the league’s president, Bathabile Dlamini, was forced to leave as protesters chanted “Khwezi! Khwezi!” 

Khwezi was the name used for Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, who in 2005 accused former president Jacob Zuma of raping her. Zuma was acquitted. Kuzwayo passed away in 2016. 

Fatima Moutloatse of the Black Womxn Caucus said the protest action would be peaceful and a memorandum of demands would be handed over, Netwerk24 reported. 

JMPD spokesperson Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said that the protest was legal and that around 10 000 people were expected to protest until 15:00. He urged motorists to avoid the area. Several roads leading to Sandton will be closed, including Rivonia Road, Maude Street and Gwen Lane.

Minnaar added that authorities will be visible and ensure traffic is directed effectively to prevent congestion in all major routes into Sandton and around it, Sandton Chronicle reported. 

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