The message of hundreds of men echoed around the Union Buildings this weekend: we will not stand for violence against women. The Not in My Name march through Pretoria to the seat of government was organised in response to the latest spate of horrific crimes against women and children and to the #MenAreTrash campaign.
That campaign followed the gruesome death of Karabo Mokoena, 22. Her body was found in a patch of veld in Bramley, burned beyond recognition. Her 22-year old boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe, has been charged with premeditated murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Not in My Name organiser Kholofelo Masha said he wanted South African men to take a firm stand against gender-based violence. He said men have heard the cries of women through the #MenAreTrash movement and that is why they were now mobilising to take responsibility for these crimes.
Katlego Rachel Mathebe, the speaker of the City of Tshwane – who joined Joburg’s mayor, Herman Mashaba, and other men on the march to Union Buildings – said women should not stand alone in solving their issues.
Mathebe said she was excited to see men taking up issues of women and children, and that she believed this was the beginning of a bigger vision. “In any democracy, when you have an active citizenry, your democracy cannot fail.
“The issues of children and women cannot only be solved by women’s movements alone and that is why I commend these men for their bravery,” Mathebe said. She added that the police should be better trained to handle cases of women and child abuse.
“At the same time the attitude of society needs to change by making sure we are open and do not hide behind culture and tradition,” Mathebe said. The march was called to fight against an “evil pandemic called femicide”.
Scores of women joined and also took part in the march. DA Shadow Minister of Police Zakhele Mbhele said the march was an important expression of outrage from men to other men.