UMthwalume, South Aftica–On Sept. 29 Hlengiwe Gasa is scheduled to appear in the Umzumbe court again. The Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League will be there, once again, to support her and uMthwalume Women.
After a number of women were raped and murdered in uMthwalume a group of women formed uMthwalume Women, to work to ensure each other’s safety and to oppose violence against women. On 25 July a group of about 100 women from uMthwalume Women marched in protest at the terrifying levels of violence against women in their community. The purpose of the march was to show their concern to the world and to deliver a memorandum to the South African Police Services calling on them to act as women in the community were being raped and murdered.
The march was peaceful. The women just held their memorandum but the police teargassed them. Later, Hlengiwe Gaza, the leader of uMthwalume Women, was arrested and charged with violating Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
We have made it clear that what touches one woman touches all of us. We, as women of Abahlali, are in solidarity with Hlengiwe, uMthwalume Women and all other women organising against oppression.
The police do nothing to protect women from violence. In fact, as everyone knows, it is common for the police to be the perpetrators of violence against women. We condemn the attitude of the police towards women and we condemn the regular police violence against women.
uMbutho stands strong with all women and the struggle to build women’s power from below and in struggle.
Contact: Nomsa Sizani 081 005 3686, Zanele Mtshali 062 437 9077
Abahlali baseMjondolo http://www.abahlali.org