Mourning Covid-19 and GBV victims: SA marked its last day yesterday
The period of mourning Coronavirus and Gender Based Violence (GBV) victims which begun on the November 25 came to an end yesterday 29 November.
The five days of national mourning was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on 11 November.
“As we look back on a year of much pain and sorrow, it is important as a nation that we should honour and remember all those who have succumbed to this disease.
It will be appropriate that during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children which is the second pandemic we are confronting, we demonstrate our remembrance of all those who have departed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and gender-based violence,” he said.
To signify and respect those who died, he called for all to wear black armbands or other signs of mourning from 25-29 November.
Although some people appreciated this great course but not many were pleased because of cultural differences.
“Is the President aware that as black people – In our culture ukuzila (mourning) for people who are not our relatives is more like inviting bad luck and a dark cloud amongst our families? The President must learn to consider and respect our culture as black Africans and not impose western practices on us,” said Lastgear Gibela.
People have voiced their opinions on who will cleanse them after this because certain animals have to be slaughtered after they have finished mourning for a certain person.
“The best thing that the President should have done was to delegate officials that would be responsible for keeping the SAPS in check because their response time is too long – An abused victim might even be killed by the time they arrive. So how about he emphasizes the importance of responding to calls quickly and efficiently?” asked Andile Buzwe.
“Yes, my family and I are wearing the armbands. We are dealing with a national tragedy, not a personal one. I fail to see where culture fits in, in this situation. No cleansing is necessary,” said Marlon Mountbatten.
Speaking at the launch of 16 days of activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign the Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said people need not to look the other way around.
“Our women and children continue to live in a constant state of fear. Our focus with 16 Days of No Violence against Women and Children Campaign should be to continue our efforts of ending all forms of violence,” added Nkoana-Mashabane.
According to North-West University, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Law, Dr Allison Geduld, The massacre of 6 December 1989 was one of the events that led to the first campaign of 16 days of activism that was held in 1991 and was initiated by the Women’s Global Leadership Institute.
The campaign led to the start of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, and runs annually from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day).
The 16 days of activism campaign has been held in South Africa since 1998. Since then, the incidents of violence against women and children have increased.