Deputy Speaker, between 28 and 37% of adult men reported having raped a woman. Most men who rape do so for the first time as teenagers. Fifty-five rape complaints against police officers were investigated between April to September 2018. Out of every 1 000 suspected rape perpetrators referred for prosecution; 370 have at least one prior felony conviction; 520 will be released either because they posted bail or for other reasons while awaiting trial, and 70 of the released perpetrators will be arrested for committing another or similar sexual assault crime.
I am starting off with these stats to highlight that gender- based violence is more prevalent in societies where there is a culture of violence and where male superiority is treated as the norm. These men have no identifying marks. They are somebody's son, brother, husband, father and leader. These men are like Mark Zinde, Oscar Pistorius, Sandile Mantsoe and Mortimer Saunders. They show that gender-based violence is not limited to
one race, religion or cultural group. These acts of violence are conducted by men and it should be condemned by men. [Applause.] Societies free of gender-based violence do not exist, and South Africa is no exception. The recent violence against women in our country is the most dehumanising gender oppression.
Women are paying the ultimate price in our country. In 2018-19,
2 930 women were murdered in South Africa, meaning every 3 hours a woman is murdered. Hundred and ten rapes are reported daily. South Africa's femicide rate is five times higher than the global average. One in every five woman experiences violence at the hands of a partner.
When a child rapist is released due to lack of evidence, a daughter dies in a post office, a fighting legend dies with a restraining order in hand, a mother is murdered in front of her child and a grandmother is gruesomely murdered on her farm, questions need to be asked, to what extent is law enforcement able to ignore the steps they need to take to prevent and prosecute these crimes.
Mr President, it is concerning to note that the National Gender- Based Violence and Femicide Strategic Plan has not been finalised and that there is no budget allocation to address gender-based violence in the Ministry of Women, Youth and People Living with Disabilities.
We should put our money where our mouths are and have the political will to address the scourge of gender-based violence. It is the time that we as leaders in this House exercise our power by addressing the gaps in legislation dealing with sexual offences against our most vulnerable.
It is us in this House that should not falter in our oversight mandate to ensure that never again will police stations be without rape kits and it is us that should ensure our education, health and justice systems are capacitated to deal with gender- based violence.
Mr President, your interventions mentioned are noble in dealing with gender- based violence, however, we have heard this story
before. A plan without action remains just that, a plan. Enough is enough! Time for action is now.
Backlashes against movements such as Am I next? And Men are Trash ought to be expected and should not act as a deterrent. We are tired of being undervalued and disregarded. Women will not be silenced. We are paving the way for the next generation to never experience the level of horrific violence we do.
Uyinene, Leighandre, Angelique, Jess, Reeva, Karabo and Kwezi, the echoing of your voices will not be silenced.
Wathinta abafazi, wathinta imbokodo! [Ihlombe.]