5 April 2020
MISA CONDEMNS SHOCKING SURGE OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE DURING FIRST WEEK OF THE NATIONAL LOCKDOWN
The Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA) has condemned in the strongest possible terms the shockingly high number of gender-based violence (GBV) cases of more than 87 000 that were reported to the SAPS’s GBV Command Centre during the first week of the national lockdown.
“While MISA supports government’s strategy of a national lockdown to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, we cannot allow our country’s women to be discriminated against, harmed, harassed, abused, assaulted, raped and murdered while being cooped up at home with their abusers,” says Martlé Keyter, MISA’s CEO: Operations.
Keyter says MISA supports the call the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has made on government to put the necessary resources in place to ensure that victims of gender-based abuse will be protected by the courts and authorities during the national lockdown.
According to Keyter, over the last six months, government had finally started to make positive progress in the addressing the issue of gender-based violence, such as the establishment of an Emergency Action Plan to help curb the scourge of GBV, the Judicial Matters Second Amendment Act to deal with sexual offenders, and announcement by president Ramaphosa that 11 Sexual Offences courts would be established over the next financial year.
“However, we are deeply saddened and concerned that it seems that the little progress that has been made is now being jeopardised by the lockdown,” she says.
“As a union, we abhor all forms of violence, abuse and discrimination against any person regardless of their gender, sexuality, race or nationality, says MISA President, Koos Olivier, supported by the National Executive Council.
The trade union, which represents over 50 000 employees in the South African retail motor sector, is imploring both ordinary citizens and Government for a normalised society in which everyone feels safe and secure.
“As a nation, we are now fighting to curb a massive pandemic, we are faced with enormous economic challenges, and we are calling on all South Africans to not look away but to report any cases of GBV. It is only by taking action that we can rid our society of the abusers that pounce on the most vulnerable in these pressing times,” concludes Olivier.