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Bills to curb gender-based violence ‘depend on implementation’

Reprinted from Sowetan Live, by Tankiso Makhetha – 2021-09-12

Victims’ families, activists say they have come too late for some

While parliament adopted two bills aimed at curbing violence against women and children, families of victims who died at the hands of loved ones hope the laws will be adequately implemented to reduce the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV).

On Friday, MPs adopted the Domestic Violence Bill and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Bill, which were sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for approval after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP)  sent the bills to the National Assembly, proposing amendments.

Last week, the NCOP passed the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill and sent it to Ramaphosa for assent.

The bill passed by the NCOP aims to amend the Domestic Violence Act, 1998, to provide for the manner in which domestic violence and related matters be dealt with by certain government departments. It will also aim to further regulate the obtaining of protection orders in acts of domestic violence.

However, this has come too late for Maselelo Kgoadi, 20, whose mother was allegedly murdered by her father in Tembisa in January.

Her father, Samuel Kgoadi, allegedly bludgeoned his wife Koena Kgoadi with a hammer after the couple had an argument. This was after Koena obtained a protection order against her husband a week prior to her murder.

“These laws don’t mean anything because even though my mother called the police, they arrived too late. [They are] the people who are meant to make sure that people are protected, especially those who have protection orders. Look at my mother, she died even though she had a protection order,” said Kgoadi.

“I hope it will work better for other people and that the government can make sure that they are able to protect women in the future,” she said.

#Notinmyname secretary-general Themba Masango told Sowetan that the bills may be progressive, but they would fail in their purpose if they were not implemented as they should be


If you’ve been affected by GBV or any of the issues in this article

SD Law is a law firm in Cape Town with deep experience of helping women escape abusive men and GBV and find peace in a new life. We will connect you to relevant support services and make sure you and your children are safe. At SD Law, we understand how deeply distressing gender-based violence can be, and we will handle your case with discretion, empathy and compassion. Contact Simon on 086 099 5146 or email sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za for a confidential discussion.

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