A grandfather in Joburg has been accused of repeatedly raping his grandchildren.
When will society learn that rape, abuse and gender-based violence (GBV) are not a family matter? When will the shame and scorn not be the focal point if a family member should be reported for the safety of those violated and the law allowed to run its course.
When will society admit that if a family member is the perpetrator of a crime, the family may have failed and the law overrides whatever recourse the family might think is better? When will pride, perception and popularity come after the protection of our relatives?
A grandfather in Joburg has been accused of repeatedly raping his grandchildren. Sadly, South African families have normalised such heinous acts. These acts have become the norm. Having been a resident of Soweto, we know of this although it’s hushed up. The resemblance of young children to their uncles and grandfathers who were born to their young mothers, defensive grandmothers and aunts speak a thousand words.
When girls become strong and unforgiving wiser women, the accusations were that they were loose and the attacks on the pillars of the community were an act of rebellion. We understood there must be some truth in the rumours – but willingness to act to protect the vulnerable was muted.
When social workers and members of the justice system live among us, why do these acts go unpunished? Early this year, Moja Love aired a show called Teen Pregnancy in which a father admitted he was accused of impregnating his daughter.
He said: “I want to be investigated. I want the investigation to be thorough because even though my daughter has been honest with me and told me the sex was consensual, if it was not I would want no stone left unturned in seeking justice for my child.”
That, for me, was a man to be celebrated. He was willing to put himself on the line for his child. We must remain resolute that rape and GBV are crimes and those who commit them should spend years in jail and the victims must be protected.
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