Photo by Blessing Mabunda

By: Blessing Mabunda

At least more than 100 people gathered on Thursday, to celebrate women’s month at Nsavulani village east of Giyani.

The event was led by Councillor, Basani Shivambu who gave a keynote address on behalf of Greater Giyani Municipality (GGM) mayor Sasavona Mathebula who wasn’t present.

Nsavulani village had recently experienced a barbaric behaviour after Daniel Dzambukeri (33), Christinah Mhlongo (53), Amos Chuma (48) and Solomon Mahumani (63), allegedly murdered Hlayisani Precious Hlongwane, (26) from Hlomela village outside Giyani.

Hlongwane went missing in April this year, and her body was later found in the nearby bushes after a long joint search operation by both the police and the local community.

The suspects are still in custody with no bail granted to them after they appeared before the Giyani Magistrate Court on the 15th of May 2017.

LT. Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe was quoted as saying possibility of ritual murder might not be ruled out, as private parts such as breasts and the lips of the deceased were removed.

The community members had embarked on the protest after learning of Hlongwane’s desertion. Four houses were burnt down and one car damaged. The angry community alleged that the four suspects are involved in Hlongwane’s disappearance.

On Thursday GGM, working in conjunction with various departments in the Mopani district, have encouraged women to speak out against children and women abuse.

Sergeant, Maria Seko of Giyani police services said women should speak out against any violence and all kinds of abuse.

“We love our husbands that when they abuse us and our children, we fear to report them. We should do away with this mentality that our husbands deserve not to be punished for their barbaric behaviours,” stressed Seko.

Seko said that gone are those days, when women should hold on to abusive marriages and say,  Vukati vakadza hi mbilu, women should report rape without fear.

Gambling and alcohol were also highlighted by several speakers who stressed that women should do away with illegal gambling and alcohol.

Joyce Mashimbye, a clinical nurse practitioner at Greater Giyani sub-District, said young adult girls should do away with sexual intercourse in early age.

Mashimbye said when a 17- year- old girl engages into sexual activities, or when a woman has multiple partners, smoking and drinking exposes her on a risk of having cervical cancer.

“The most common symptom of cervical cancer is bleeding after the menopause bleeding in between periods heavier periods than usual (if you haven’t been through the menopause) a watery or bloody vaginal discharge. Less common symptoms are pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, or pain during sex,” added Mashimbye.

“The department of health will continue with its program and awareness campaigns to try eradicate this cancer. This August we will be going around the schools, and emit grade 4 pupils to try, and prevent cervical cancer”, she added.

Social Development District Director, Gloria Mnisi encouraged women to register Non-profit organisations, (NPO) in order to create jobs for themselves and others.

“We offer help to children, women, people with disability and pensioners. All the organisations that deal with the mentioned, are being subsidised by the department,” said Mnisi.

“It’s our duty to make sure that 0- 5 years children are attending crèche, and to do regular visits to the crèche, in making sure that children are in a safe environment at all times,”added Mnisi

Mnisi concluded her speech by saying the recently ritual murder that occurred in Nsavulani Village led to the Women’s Day celebration in the village. “Children and women should be protected at all times. Men should look after us, women,” she said.

Cllr Shivambu during her keynote address said men are like children and they always want to be acknowledged. “Let it be our daily commitment to give support to our husbands when their finances are in crisis. When they have no jobs because of failure to do so, our lives are in great danger,” said Shivambu.

“If Vusi Mdluli’ SMSes weren’t ignored, we would have saved Kate Chiloane who was shot dead in front of grade two pupils by her husband in Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga.”

Shivambu congratulated the South African Justice for its exertion to fighting against women and children abuse. She also thanked the media for bringing unknown information to the public.

“Deputy Minister of higher education, Mduduzi Manana has recently assaulted a woman, and Marks Maponyane has been found guilty of assaulting his wife, and we know all this because of the media”, She added.

“Our men couldn’t have done it alone and it’s the reason that women like Lillian Ngoyi, Charlotte Maxeke, and many others took to the street on the 9th of  August 1956 in Pretoria, marching against the abusive pass laws”, said Shivambu.

“Many things are happening that we are not told. Most of the people who are abusing us are those we love, and we’re not reporting them. The love we have blinds us. I’m not speaking against all men, but to those few who are killing us,” added cllr Shivambu.

She said women should report all sorts of abuse, and a woman should work with her hands for a better future. “The ANC government has given us, women opportunities to lead and all but let’s do it with respect to our husbands. The fact that you can put something on the table for your family, it doesn’t mean you should start to have shoulders over your husband,” concluded Shivambu.