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South Africa commemorates Women's Day

Sapa

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has dedicated Women's Day commemorations to the plight of abused children and women.

​On this day in 1956 around 20 000 women participated in a national march to protest against pass law legislation, which required non-white South Africans to carry a document on them to prove that they were allowed to enter

“I want to say this on behalf of men. Those men abusing, raping women, killing children are not doing it in our name,” Makhura said in his keynote at the Women’s Day commemoration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

“We are saying as men, those are not men but animals. They are vicious animals. They are not even the animals that we have in our homes.”

He called on people in the province to assist authorities in the fight against children and women abuse.

“We gather today, having buried Taegrin Morris who was mercilessly killed in front of his mother in Reiger Park [in the east of Johannesburg).”

“Yesterday [Friday] another child passed on, after being ruthlessly killed by criminals in Westbury.”

The march should also pay tribute to all the children who have been killed by criminals, said Makhura.

War against abuse
Women should not to protect criminals.

“If you are hiding your son who is committing crime against another woman, that son is going to commit crime against you one day.

“Let us work with the police. We are going to win the war against children and women abuse. We shall also win the war to ensure that we build an inclusive economy of which women will be at the centre of.”

He said all political parties represented in the Gauteng legislature would be given opportunities to contribute to provincial developmental goals.

“All parties in our legislature were invited here. Those who did not come, it means they had no legs. We gave them an opportunity.”

Far to go
President Jacob Zuma received a rapturous welcome from thousands of women who had packed into Umlazi’s King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

Singing and ulalating from the women, most of whom were wearing ANC Women’s League uniforms or ANC t-shirts emblazoned with Zuma’s portrait.

Women’s league president Angie Motshekga said much had been achieved since the advent of democracy in 1994 but that much more needed to be achieved to bring gender equality.

“Some of the problems identified 60 years ago still persist. A girl child must not walk with that fear that there is a rapist behind her.”

She said that while constitutionally the rights of women were protected, there needed more to be done in achieving gender equality on the ground.

Tight security
Security was tight at the stadium with snipers visible on top of the main stand of the stadium as the equestrian unit of the eThewkini metro police patrolled the outskirts of the stadium.

There were several performances by numerous bands and groups that sang and danced.

Numerous buses arrived with singing women emanating from them.

Police also had strict control over the Mangosuthu Highway as they controlled traffic.

However, the festivities were marred by an early accident at the entrance to the highway where police were clearing an accident that had claimed the life of one man.

His body, covered in silver sheeting could still be seen lying on the Mangosuthu Highway as metro police cleared the scene in a bid to keep traffic flowing .

Historic day
On this day in 1956 around 20 000 women participated in a national march to protest against pass law legislation, which required non-white South Africans to carry a document on them to prove that they were allowed to enter “white areas”.

Women of all races and ages from all corners of the country marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The march was organised by the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw) and led by Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophy Williams and Lilian Ngoyi.

This year’s festivities were held under the theme: “20 years of democracy: Moving women’s agenda forward through socio-economic transformation”.

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