7 September 2019
The United Nations Association of South Africa, hereby wish to extend our condolences to all the families that have lost their loved ones, due to the Xenophobic attacks and gender based violence. We stand in solidarity with the #AmINext campaign. We encourage all UNASA chapters at UCT, Stellenbosch University, University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, University of Venda, University of Zululand, University of the Western Cape, Capricorn TVET college, Waterberg TVET college, Vhembe TVET college and Nelson Mandela University to partner and facilitate initiatives at their respective institutions to ensure the safety of all, to campaign and educate about GBV, xenophobia and all other forms of discrimination through the advocacy of the UN charter on Human rights.
This week has been the most trying and thought provoking, emotionally draining week for the women and young girls of South Africa. It has invoked and brought forward a new inherent mistrust and fear of all men. Families are telling their girls to arm and learn how to protect themselves, not to go to the public toilets alone, to always check that they are not followed, constantly worrying about the safety of their girls, their wives, sisters, cousins and friends, not even trusting of their own men. We have come to realise that men are not our protectors they are our violators. Women of all ages, have come forward and told their stories for the first time on social media, finally feeling free and comforted knowing that they are not alone, that others had the same experience and like them had kept quiet for the same fear they had, that no one will believe them. BUT WE BELIEVE THEM AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THEM UNTIL THE OPPRESSION, VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN STOP!!!
We know and acknowledge that statistically most people murdered in South Africa are men. Statistically we also know the perpetrators of all forms of violent crimes in South Africa in the vast majority are MEN, when women are the majority of the population by 51%.
It is sad that we have to categorize violence due to discrimination, intolerance and fear. But what we are encountering is inhumanity in South Africa on a scale we would not have expected post apartheid. There were countless reasons mentioned for the xenophobic attacks but there is only one fact , that there is no humanity in those that incited and acted out these criminal acts. That we have intolerance of people because they are different, yet from the same African continent that we are from is ironic, for that was the reason that Apartheid was institutionalised in the first place, because we were African, Colored or Indian, classed as inferior races. Our frustrations in our government’s legal system and economy is not a reason for inhumanity. Apartheid was inhumane, Xenophobia is inhumane.
“I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.” Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela