COSATU North West Gender Structure calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare gender-based violence and femicide a national disaster

The Congress of South African Trade Unions Gender Structure in the North West province is disgusted to learn of yet another brutal killing of women in our province and country.We are saddened by the brutal killing of yet another innocent, twenty-five-year-old female educator, Lesedi Cynthia Mokgosi by a forty-year-old suspect. This criminal suspect did not only brutally kill Lesedi but also stole her bank card. Lesedi Mokgosi was strangled at her place near Moruleng in the Moses Kotane Municipality.  We commend the police for swiftly arresting the suspect in this case.

As if this is not enough, we also learned of the death of a forty-year-old policewoman, Sergeant Marth M Bouwer who is a victim of domestic violence.  Sergeant Bouwer was found murdered by her ex-boyfriend on Sunday, 05 July 2020 at her house in extension 14 in Kanana in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality.  The suspect is still at large.  We call on the community of the North West province to work with and assist the police to arrest the suspect.

These two deaths are part of a string of deaths of women and children that are perpetrated by their loved ones and acquaintances.

We are also reminded of other horrible acts of gender-based-violence such as the case of Kedibone who was brutally assaulted by a shopper at the Checkers Hyper at the Waterfall Mall in Rustenburg. And also the case of a Matlosana ward councilor, Papi Mqikela who appeared at the Klerksdorp Magistrate Court for the statutory rape of a fifteen-year-old girl.

These dastardly acts by perpetrators of violence against women and children take place amid an invisible enemy, the novel coronavirus.  This pandemic has among other things, served to expose the extent of gender-based violence and femicide in our communities. 

To that effect, as the COSATU gender structure in the North West province, we call on the police to continue to arrest all perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide. We call on the to work with the prosecution to ensure that they have watertight cases that will ensure convictions for these barbarous elements as they do not deserve to live in our communities.  We call on the judiciary to ensure that they lock these vicious criminals behind bars and throw away the keys.

The COSATU gender structure also call on our alliance partners, the ANC and the SACP, the ANCWL and all progressive civil society organisations including our working-class communities to join us in the fight against perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide in our communities.  The is no excuse that can justify the killing of a human being.

We want to emphasise our call to the judiciary to explore mandatory minimum sentences that will serve as deterrent to would-be perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide.President Cyril Ramaphosa also needs to declare gender-based violence and femicide a national disaster and deploy special police units and open special courts to deal with these cases.

Enough is enough!

Stop the Gender-Based Violence!

For more information to contact the COSATU Provincial Secretary of COSATU NW comrade Kopano Konopi @ 0823395836 or Provincial Gender Chairperson Kutlang Lethena- 073 966 8359