Memorandum On the Launch of the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Violence On Women and Children Campaign [press release]

Congress of South African Trade Unions, together with the community of the North West, are gathered here as progressive structures representing the interest of the people of the North West women and children who are being abused, killed and assaulted every minute of their life.

We presented a memorandum to the SAPS and the mine bosses last year in Marikana, Rustenburg, and in that memorandum we indicated that we are full of hope that all that we are raising will be addressed.

We want to congratulate the police in the NW for the work that they have been doing recently in that there has conviction and sentencing in the case of Pinky Mosiane and we hope that all other gender-related cases will get the priority they deserve especially those which are taking place in the mines and other workplaces. And further we would want to know who the perpetrators were working with.

We are here to display our anger and dissatisfaction at the manner in which the lives of women and children have been undermined by the hooligans who continue to terrorise them on a daily basis and want to take over our country, in particular this province, and this have been very prominent in the mines.

COSATU has learned that in this area of Amalia young women are being abused by the mine workers after they have fed them alcohol, and the company in which they are working for is also aware of that, but they are failing to report to the authorities instead they are the ones who are covering them for these evil acts.

In 2013 during the strikes in the mines women were stripped naked in front of men, raped and killed in the mines and this is still continuing to date. Women are raped and killed while they are doing their work in the mines underground.

We have now seen the increase of women being assaulted by managers in the shops such as Choppies and the farms workers and their children continue receiving bad treatment from famers, the police and justice.

Child labour is still high in our province, in particular in the farms and our labour department is still not doing justice for those poor workers.

Politicians, police, the courts and public representatives continue live as if these things happen elsewhere in another continent and not in our country and particularly this province.

As COSATU and the people of the North West we are saying enough is enough. We have noted the failure or unwillingness of the government to deal with gender-based violence and these social ills.

We believe that there is a link between the current growing poverty and unemployment in the province, the failure of the mines to implement social labour plans and gender-related violence.

Our country’s constitution continues to protect the perpetrator while the victims are left defenceless and at the mercy of their attackers.

It has now become a daily or hourly activity that a women, a child or both are raped, killed physically abused, assaulted or all of the above happens to them.

COSATU and the community of North West and the working class and the poor will not stand on the periphery and leave the criminals to reign. And we believe that justice delayed is justice denied.

As COSATU we demand the following.

1. The full protection of women and children by all the entities of the state and the departments.

2. Further investigation of the case of Pinky Mosiane to bring to book all those who might have been involved in her killing and the cover-up of the case.

3. The SAPS must start to prioritise all gender-related crimes, especially where women and children are victims.

4. There should be no bail granted to all those who are accused of killing and raping women and children as they often go back and kill the witnesses.

5. Prosecutors must oppose all bail applications on gender-based violence’s and make sure that the witnesses are put on a witness protection program.

6. Mining companies, including Flexi Four, must comply with the MPRDA and must implement the social labour plans.

7. The protection of women who are working in the mines, especially those who are working underground.

8. Protection of all women and children in all sectors, in particular retailers and farms.

9. The end of child labour in all sectors of the economy in the province and the country at large in line with the ILO convention on child labour.

Finally COSATU demands a full commitment by the authorities to act decisively and urgently on this matter and COSATU will not rest until all these demands are met.

Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions