South Africa: “It is Time for Real Action Against Rape “

8 February 2013  BBC News
There have been further protests in South Africa, over the high incidence of rape in the country. The demonstrations were triggered by the gang rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world, 
with police figures showing that 64,000 cases were reported last year.
Nomsa Maseko reports.

Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement, Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Thandiswa Qubuda was gang raped in the early hours of the 20th January 2013 at the corner of New Town and E Street in Grahamstown. She is 30 years old and the only one surviving in the family. Both her both parents have died and she was living with her aunt.

She was savagely beaten during the rape and is now permanently brain damaged and lying in hospital. Today at 12 noon the Revered Mzi Dyantyi, family members and the Unemployed People’s Movement held a prayer and anointment in her ward.

The men that were arrested after this rape were granted free bail. The rape case was then dismissed and struck off the role because of the extreme negligence and incompetence of the police. The only charge that is remaining is attempted murder. Witnesses have been subject to serious intimidation by one of the accused. One has been taken to a place of safety after been threatened with death by one of the accused. Another has had to flee to Johannesburg. And yet the accused were given free bail!

We do not believe that the state is taking the rape and assault of Thandiswa Qubuda seriously. The state holds poor people in contempt. We are just voting fodder to them. We are not human beings to them.

Our President cannot give leadership in the struggle against rape, attacks on lesbians and other forms of gender based violence. After his rape trial he emerged bruised and lacking in credibility to many South Africans. His utterance in court when he stated that he knew that a woman wanted sex because of what she was wearing was disgraceful. The way that his accuser was vilified was disgraceful.

If the president was to deal with the scourge of rape seriously and to lead the fight against women abuse with honesty and sincerity his dignity would be restored to many South Africans. But we have no faith that this will happen. When we look at Nkandla or his silence in the face of the repression of the movements and struggles of the poor we have no confidence that we will ever have leadership from above.

Therefore it is clear that the leadership in the struggle against rape will have to come from below. It is time for real action against rape. As the UPM we are committed to doing what ever is in our power to work with others to end this scourge.

Enough! Genoeg! Kwanele!
Linda Booi – 0731217706 – Cousin to Thandiswa Qubuda
Xola Mali –  0722995253 – UPM Spokeperson
Sbongile Jonas –  0797803928 – UPM Secretary for Women

———————————————————————————-

BBC News, Thursday, 18 June 2009

South African rape survey shock

Anti-rape protesters in South Africa

South Africa’s government has been urged to solve the rape epidemic

One in four South African men questioned in a survey said they had raped someone, and nearly half of them admitted more than one attack.

The study, by the country’s Medical Research Council, also found three out of four who admitted rape had attacked for the first time during their teens.

It said practices such as gang rape were common because they were considered a form of male bonding.

The MRC spoke to 1,738 men in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces.

The research was conducted in both rural and urban areas and included all racial groups.

Using an electronic device to keep the results anonymous, the study found that 73% of those who admitted rape said they had carried out their first assault before the age of 20.

Almost half who said they had carried out a rape admitted they had done so more than once.

FROM BBC WORLD SERVICE

One in 20 men surveyed said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year.

Professor Rachel Jewkes of the MRC, who carried out the research, told the BBC’s World Today programme: “The absolute imperative is we have to change the underlying social attitudes that in a way have created a norm that coercing women into sex is on some level acceptable.

“We know that we have a higher prevalence of rape in South Africa than there is in other countries.

“And it’s partly rooted in our incredibly disturbed past and the way that South African men over the centuries have been socialised into forms of masculinity that are predicated on the idea of being strong and tough and the use of force to assert dominance and control over women, as well as other men.”

She added that all the victims in the main survey were said to be women, but participants were also interviewed about male rape.

‘Sad state of affairs’

The study found that one in 10 men said they had been raped by other men.

I don’t think it’s cultural per se; I think it has to do with how a lot of us men worldwide were raised
Mbuyiselo Botha
South African Men’s Forum

Some 3% of the men interviewed said they had coerced a man or a boy into sex.

The participants were also tested for HIV and the authors of the survey were surprised that men who had raped were not more likely to test positive for the virus.

Mbuyiselo Botha, from the South African Men’s Forum, which campaigns for women’s rights, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that any view of women as “fair game” had to be challenged.

Mr Botha, a father of two girls himself, said: “I think that yes, the figures are that high and for us, for me in particular, that is a very sad state of affairs.

“It means that we continue in South Africa to be one of the highest capitals of rape in the world.

“I don’t think it’s cultural per se; I think it has to do with how a lot of us men worldwide were raised. The issues of dominance against women, issues of inequality, are pervasive and you find them throughout the world.”

South Africa’s government has been repeatedly criticised for failing to address the country’s rape epidemic.

A recent trade union report said a child was being raped in South Africa every three minutes with the vast majority of those cases going unreported.

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