Gender Commission outraged at the senseless and barbaric killing of the De Doorns woman
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is concerned with the gruesome murder of a woman by her partner in De Doorns, Western Cape. The senseless and barbaric killing of Laurina Ryk with a shovel by her 25-year-old boyfriend places the spotlight once again not only on intimate partner killings but also on gender based violence that continues unabated in South Africa. Using a spade to kill a defenceless and vulnerable person should not be tolerated in a society that has embraced a Bill of Rights which espouses respect for dignity, equality and the right to security of every person. Although the Commission is grateful that the administration of justice will act in this matter and justice will most likely be delivered, this brings little comfort to family members who have lost a loved one and more especially the one year old child that will be adversely affected.
Laurina’s death and the manner in which she lost her life, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend is yet another reminder that South Africa is not addressing gender based violence effectively. The CGE has not been silent on GBV which stalks both men and women but more especially our women and girls even in the “sanctuary” of their homes where they are supposed to be protected against harm and violence. In its 2013 Report on the Eradication of Violence Against Women and Children the CGE raised the fact that there is a need for South Africa to move beyond policy development and to initiate meaningful as well as coordinated strategic imperatives that will start reversing GBV. Even if the life of a single Laurina is saved, this would be a signal of victory against GBV because it would mark the beginning of an era where the government of the day is taking the most serious concern of women seriously, namely to heed the call of peace loving South Africans “to go to war against GBV”.
In keeping with our Constitutional and Legal Mandate the Commission will be monitoring this case in ensuring that both the accused and the victims receive a fair trial. However, this will definitely not be the end of our commitment towards achieving a society free from all forms of gender oppression and inequality but strengthens our resolve to remind all in positions of authority that the CGE will continue with its initiatives aimed at reversing an abhorrent level of GBV which is wreaking havoc in our lives and our country.
The time to act against GBV is now, therefore, the Commission calls upon South Africans to join hands as part of the 365 Days of Activism to continue raising awareness and advocating against the scourge of gender based violence. The Commission condemns any kind of gender based violence committed regardless of the gender of the person who commits it. We hope that people will start learning alternative ways of resolving conflicts as an ethos without resorting to violence.
People can use our Toll-Free Number 0800 007 709 to report cases of gender based violence.
Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 06 September 2017 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.