Pictures: Anti-GBV protest met with rubber bullets

Women protesting Gender-based violence were dispersed by rubber bullets from the police on Tuesday morning. Picture: Tracy-Lee Stark

Women in Zandspruit outside Johannesburg took to the streets to protest GBV and the lack of opportunities, leading to a heavy-handed response from police

Police fired rubber bullets at a group of women protesting against gender-based violence in Zandspruit, west of Johannesburg on Tuesday morning.

Over 200 protesting women had closed off parts of Beyers Naude drive with burning tyres and other debris, which resulted in the intervention from police.

The women-only protest was organised by the women of Zandspruit to address issues of GBV, land invasions, as well as not having their own land to develop businesses for their families in the community. The protesters claim there were no opportunities in the area for women.

Agnes Mashego said the men in the area have not succeeded in helping them in any way, but instead beat, raped, and even murdered women regularly.

They say they fear for their lives as well as those of their children, and without the mentioned resources they are unable to work for themselves, leaving them reliant on men to support them financially.

Xolile Nxumalo another protestor, said three-month-old children were being raped and she was tired of the men getting away with murder.

“I want to be able to earn my own money so I can own my own house, a place where we can be safe and not live with these men that beat us and try to murder us. We don’t want men at this protest.

“Now the police are shooting at us, men, again hurting us, when all we want is to be heard and to feel safe again.”

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