WATCH | #SandtonShutdown: 'Life for a life' - Hundreds of women demand justice against gender-based violence

The message at the #SandtonShutdown on Friday was clear: “Women are tired. It’s life for a life.”

Lucia Mokanyane said she travelled from the Vaal to attend the march.

“I am here to be a voice to the voiceless. I am also raising a daughter and she can’t speak for herself.

“As a mother I need to make sure that we live in a country where our young girls and young women are protected,” she said.

Women marched in Sandton, Johannesburg, on September 13 2019 to demand greater corporate support for women in the workplace, funding for an anti-gender abuse campaign and longer jail terms for offenders.
Women marched in Sandton, Johannesburg, on September 13 2019 to demand greater corporate support for women in the workplace, funding for an anti-gender abuse campaign and longer jail terms for offenders.
Image: Iavan Pijoos/TimesLIVE

Mokanyane, a teacher, said the murder and rape of women in the country was “absolutely heartbreaking”.

“You can never lie to a child and tell her that you are safe when they are not safe anywhere.”

She wants harsher penalties for offenders.

“It’s life for a life. If you take a life then something must be done. It’s like an eye for an eye.”

Hundreds of women in black gathered outside the JSE.

Organisers of the march demanded a 2% levy on all profits of all listed entities to help fund the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.

Other demands included:

  • Transport for employees who work night shift.
  • The provision of wellness programmes for victims of gender-based violence.
  • Mechanisms to remove “the glass ceiling” for women in the workplace.

JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King, who received the memorandum, was booed by the marchers.

“We want the 2% now, we want it now,” marchers shouted as Newton-King left the podium.

Women march in Sandton, Johannesburg, on September 13 2019 for a greater focus on combating gender-based violence.
Women march in Sandton, Johannesburg, on September 13 2019 for a greater focus on combating gender-based violence.
Image: Iavan Pijoos/TimesLIVE

Palesa Nyareli said she attended the march to have her voice “heard clearly”.

“It’s about time now that our government takes charge, because it’s his [President Cyril Ramaphosa] responsibility.

“He cannot say that a life sentence is 25 years when it’s not life. Sometimes it’s even shorter than that. I want life to be life.

“It’s such a sad story and touches me very deeply. Women should be respected at all times. We are the ones bringing life into this world,” she said.

Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane said women were dying and it couldn't be “business as usual”.

“The fact that Sandton is still operating just shows how much corporate SA cares about gender-based violence. Government must fully cost the national strategic plan on gender-based violence.”


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