Sonke Newsletter – August 2017
“Working class and unemployed women living in the badlands of apartheid-forged townships and neglected rural areas are born into a ‘truth of threat’. The menace of rape and assault by strangers, friends or family is as ever-present as the flies that gather around trash bags uncollected by non-existent or dysfunctional municipalities,” writes Marlise Richter in the Pretoria News.
HIV & AIDS
In 2016, 60% of women of 15 years or older living with HIV were on treatment. Less than half their male peers could say the same. Studies show that in East and Southern African countries, men are significantly less likely than women to have been tested for HIV and therefore do not know their HIV status. By Dean Peacock and Jon Hopkins, published by Bhekisisa.
Nosipho Mandleleni, 24, was found dead at the house that she shared with her boyfriend, former ANC Youth League leader Patrick Wisani. She had been beaten to death with a sjambok and bled to death on the bedroom floor. This video tracks the journey of how Sonke and other civil society members attained justice for Nosipho when Wisani was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
“Language is important; words have meaning, and they shape how we think, conceptualise ideas and communicate them. However, as with most things in the social and political landscape, language is nuanced and not binary,” writes Sonke’s Ariane Nevin in the Mail & Guardian.
Penina Samwel Mgosi and Leah Anthony Chacha have both endured the trauma of female genital mutilation. But by using their stories to educate and empower other young women in their communities, they are turning their suffering into salvation, writes Gadeeja Abbas in the African Independent.
In response to an incident of GBV perpetrated by former Deputy Higher Education and Training Minister Mduduzi Manana, Sonke issued a press statement calling for his suspension. While we welcome his subsequent resignation, we are concerned that he remains a South African MP.
“Vincent was raped by two gang members in an overcrowded cell in a Western Cape remand detention facility. He asked for help from nurses, wardens, social workers, and even a magistrate who all told him to expect this treatment in prison.”
What we’re reading
“A rape survivor in South Africa who summons up the courage to report the crime to the police has less than a one in 10 chance of seeing the perpetrator convicted. To be precise: in only 8.6% of such cases will there be a guilty verdict.”
‘Abaad campaigned against article 522 for more than a year. It posted billboards of women in bloodied and torn wedding gowns with the caption: “A white dress does not cover the rape.”’
‘Kamte is 32. Her generation of South Africans has been educated about HIV, and how to prevent infection. But she says her husband was enraged by the idea of using a condom with his own wife. “And then he would beat me up. Because I said no. I refused. I was trying to protect myself. But he didn’t see it that way.”’