The General-Secretary of the South African Council of Churches Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana has called on government to properly train police to respond to people needing assistance at police stations. He was leading the National Day of Prayer and Sermon at the Johannesburg Central Methodist Church.
This comes in light of the escalation of gender-based violence and attacks in which foreign nationals and their businesses are being targeted with some shops being burnt and looted in the country.
Mpumlwana wants to see urgent steps being taken to end the violence.
“Train men on how to be parents to their girl children in a meaningful way, and how to support their wives; what their role should be in preventing gender-based violence. On the violence against foreign nationals, the South African Council of Churches is setting up a task team. We cannot just keep on praying and condemning and condemning. We have to do something specific and we need your information. You’ll feed that through this task team. What is actually happening? What do you see? What do you hear?”
The Catholic Church in Johannesburg says the country has reached a point of intolerance for gender-based violence, child abuse and xenophobia.
Father Mduduzi Ndlovu was speaking at the day of prayer service in Diepkloof, Soweto. He said the service was dedicated to women and children who have died at the hands of men.
The prayer service was attended by foreign nationals, members of the Catholic Church and ordinary members of society.
Father Ndlovu says it is time to break the silence against domestic violence, child abuse and xenophobia. He says it is time to stop protecting perpetrators of violence targeted at the vulnerable, women and foreign nationals.
Ndlovu says we all have to take responsibility for ending these social ills and not solely rely on government intervention, since perpetrators live among us. He says abuse that happens in homes is more dangerous because it normalises gender-based violence.
Victims of domestic violence and attacks shared their experiences on how they fled the wars in their countries only to face more attacks in South Africa.