Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Am I Next?

There were chants of 'man is no longer dog' (he is trash) 'we want a state of emergency' and 'shut down the country' as a group of protesters charged towards the doors of the Cape Town International Conference Centre, where the World Economic Forum for Africa is being held.

Protesters had broken through a barrier of police officers at the Heerengracht traffic circle and headed towards the CTICC, where many African leaders are among the delegates. Police later used stun grenades, pepper spray and a water cannon to try to deter the protesters. 

There were reports of a 9 students being arrested in the CBD. South Africans have been outraged by the government's delayed response to end violence against women and children, with especially President Cyril Ramphosa's "limp" response on the issue yesterday being heavily criticised. Protesters wanted Ramaphosa to come and address them but he did not, only the spokesperson came out and tried to subdue the crowds. 

Earlier a group aligned to the Total Shutdown: Intersectional Womin's Movement Against GBV (gender-based violence) had staged a silent protest outside the summit. The silence hour ended at 10am and hundreds of students who had demonstrated outside Parliament later joined the WEF protest, disrupting traffic in the CBD.

Protesters urged Ramaphosa to call a state of emergency as countless women and children have been brutally raped and/or murdered, among others, Uyinene Mrwetyana, Jesse Hess, Leighandré Jegels, Janika Mallo, Lynette Volschenk and Meghan Cremer. 

Some protesters had their mouths taped and most were dressed in black, demanding to know what concrete steps the government was taking to address the femicide.

One protester questioned: "How many bodies has there been before Uyinene? How many bodies have there been prior? The former president was charged with rape. This government has failed us... it continues to fail us." Another said: "We are dying each and every day. There is no budget for gender-based violence set aside in this country. What is their plan of action?"

By: Aneeqa Du Plessis

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