Police Minister Bheki Cele has made a clarion call to police officers that no “battered, bruised, [or] bloodied” woman be turned away from a police station.
Cele was speaking during the 100 Men March in Tshwane.
More than 1 000 people marched through the Tshwane CBD to the Union Buildings on Tuesday as part of an effort to unite men against gender-based violence and crimes against children.
“When these women come battered, bruised, bloodied at the police station, don’t send them back home to negotiate,” he said.
“Make sure you don’t send her back, because…you are sending her back to her death.”
Cele said that police trainees were also invited to the march so that they would get insight into the plight of women.
‘That is not a man, it’s an animal’
He went on to call on women to take care of themselves and to walk away from abusive relationships.
“Any man that points his finger at you, turn around and walk away. Don’t ever stay with a man that puts his finger on your face (sic). Next time it will be a knife in your heart.
“Make sure you turn around and leave that. That is not a man, it’s an animal,” Cele said.
Also in attendance were Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini, Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga.
They joined churches, civic organisations and members of the public who participated in the march.
Msimanga said men had to take part in the march because they were the perpetrators of crimes against women and children.
Officials sign pledge
“We need to say enough is enough,” he said.
“Those men who are real men will stand up and say: ‘Not in our name. No more will women and children be abused by us’. We will stand and say we will protect those women and children in our care.
“Gone are the days where women and children go missing and are found murdered. Gone should be the days of women reporting rape to police stations and they are turned back to negotiate when they go home.
“We need to make sure we put an end to this”
The government officials also took turns signing a pledge board, vowing that they would do their part to end violence against women and children.