Home News N Cape supporters back Dlamini Zuma to take power

N Cape supporters back Dlamini Zuma to take power

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Hundreds of supporters, dressed in ANC regalia, sang and chanted that they are ready for Dlamini Zuma to take over from her former husband, President Jacob Zuma.

Thousands of people attended the Womans Day event where President Jacob Zuma spoke yesterday at the Galeshewe Stadium.

WOMEN in the Northern Cape, as well as other parts of the country, yesterday reiterated their support for Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to become the country’s next president.

ANC leaders and supporters publicly threw their weight behind Dlamini Zuma during the National Women’s Day celebrations held in Galeshewe yesterday.

Hundreds of supporters, dressed in ANC regalia, sang and chanted that they are ready for Dlamini Zuma to take over from her former husband, President Jacob Zuma.

President Zuma, who delivered the keynote address, openly showed his support for Dlamini Zuma when he went to fetch her from her seat and escorted her off the stage.

During his address, Zuma focused on the significance of Women’s Day and made no reference to the motion of no confidence brought against him in Parliament the day before.

Zuma said that government has made great strides in providing basic services to the people . . . and women are mostly at the receiving end of these services.

“Women are the primary beneficiaries of government’s programmes aimed at fighting poverty. Basic services such as water, electricity, housing, roads, access to education and health have been extended to more communities each year since 1994, with women being key beneficiaries.

“Women experience change directly when these services are provided by government in their communities. We assure those who are still waiting on government that we will not rest until all our communities have water, electricity and other basic needs which improve the quality of life.

“The majority of social grant beneficiaries are women and children, extending social protection to fight poverty,” he said.

Zuma added that there is still, however, much to be done to emancipate all women.

“While we celebrate the advancement of women in the public sector, there is a continued exclusion of the majority of the population, both women and Africans, from decision-making positions in the private sector.

“The statistics in the 2016-2017 Commission for Employment Equity Annual Report paint a bleak picture with regards to transformation. White people occupy 68 percent of positions at top management level and 58 percent at senior management level.

“Women continue to be under-represented at 22 percent and 33 percent at top and senior management levels respectively. What is of great concern is that women continue to struggle to enter the labour market, even at lower levels, due to a lack of skills. As a result, they are forced to turn to the informal sector to make ends meet,” Zuma said.

He added that the increase in violence against women is also a worrisome.

“The country has witnessed horrific incidents recently of the killing of women by men known to them, such as intimate partners, as well as total strangers. Several children have also been attacked and killed. These incidents have caused enormous pain and distress in the country.

“Crimes against women take many forms – physical, sexual, economic, psychological and emotional – but they all represent a violation of human rights and dignity.”

According to Zuma, law enforcement agencies face numerous challenges when it comes to addressing and investigating these crimes.

“According to the police these crimes usually happen behind closed doors or in secluded areas which are very difficult to police.

“Another challenge is that victims often withdraw charges of domestic violence and sexual offences where the offender is known to the victim. In these cases family members often intervene and reach an agreement among themselves to maintain a conspiracy of silence in exchange for money or some other financial benefit.”

Zuma said that this conduct is unacceptable as it further perpetuates violence against women. “It also turns the abuse of women into a matter than can be resolved through cash transactions benefiting families.

“In other cases the victims prefer to keep quiet, rather than to speak out, due to the stigma attached to sexual abuse,” he said.

Zuma, however, added that there were cases where justice prevailed when it came to crimes against women and children.

“As a result of dedicated investigations a total of five hundred and forty one life sentences were handed down during the past financial year. We wish to emphasise that nobody is above the law when it comes to crimes against women.

“Every person, regardless of position in society, must face the full might of the law when they attack women and children. We call for continued partnerships between government and civil society in promoting a society where women feel safe at all times,” he said.

Zuma also urged those who attended the Women’s Day celebrations, not to forget or forsake the prize of freedom.

“On this day we salute generations of women leaders – Charlotte Maxeke, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophie Williams-De Bruyn, Lillian Diedericks, Dorothy Nyembe, Albertina Sisulu, Ruth Mompati, Bertha Gxowa, Sister Bernard Ncube, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela – and many others.

“We also pay tribute to thousands of other women, whose names we do not even know, who suffered and fought for the freedom we enjoy today. Their sacrifices remind us that our freedom did not come about because of the generosity of one person, but through blood, sweat and tears.

“Unarmed and defenceless, women challenged the might and brutality of successive oppressive regimes in order to ensure that future generations live in a free South Africa,” Zuma said.