‘This march was long overdue’

Yesterday opened a lot of things in my mind. If we stand together as women, a lot of things can change.

Although the march ended around three in the afternoon, we waited until 6pm. We waited until the president arrived at the Union Buildings to read our memorandum. We were not going to leave until he did that. As we waited, I spoke to many people who had been abused or lost family members.

I realised that this march was long overdue.

Before the march, I felt hopeless that my
sister’s killer — the father of her three children — would not be sentenced, that he would get off on bail.

Even though he believes he will not be sentenced, and that he will return to shoot my mother and brothers, I am no longer afraid.
I am putting my trust in the justice system. We will set an example until this [gender-based violence] stops. It must stop.

I felt my sister’s spirit at the march. Her spirit lives on, and I feel that she is fighting for us — for all women — on all angles. Women need to wake up. If you go to bed and you wake up with a wet pillow, you need to leave the situation you are in. Because no women can provoke a man that much that he can stab her, or shoot her.

If my personality is overshadowing yours, then go, you are not my match.

We need to know that we don’t need men. We also need to raise our sons better.

When my sister’s killer is sentenced, we can start living again. Now we are just holding our breath. But I feel hopeful. I’m Christian but I really wish him the worst. — Lindiwe Mazibuko (28) as told to Gemma Ritchie after the #TotalShutDown march in Pretoria on Wednesday

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