Jacob Zuma nominated for ANC Presidency
ANCWL POST NEC AND NOMINATION MEDIA BRIEFING
The ANC Women’s League held a fruitful two day meeting. Yesterday the NEC met at the St George hotel and agreed on a number of issues. We also highlighted challenges that we as the Women’s League hope to address, and campaigns we will be embarking on in the coming months. We are thrilled media organisations are here so we can report on what we are doing as the League.
We can’t begin this media briefing without acknowledging the start of the 16 days of activism campaign of no violence against women and children. While we applaud this initiative of our government and believe this campaign brings much needed attention to the crisis of violence our women and children are facing, we however continue in our stance that 16 days is not enough for focusing gender based violence prevention; it should be a 365 days campaign.
Our women and children are under threat from rapists and abusers and live under constant fear of being attacked. To quote one NEC member, “You can’t grow a garden for 16 days and expect it to bear fruit.” If we are serious about this campaign we will dedicate more than 16 days to it.
The ANC WL would like to see a year-long campaign where monthly initiatives are undertaken by all South Africans including our governing structures such as municipalities, legislatures and Parliament, civil society and business, to tackle the gender issues and create constant awareness on this scourge.
I can confidently report that the women of the league have been taking up the issue of violence against women in the provinces all year around. In reviewing the programme we lead as the League we can safely say we have once again intensified our campaigns, especially the gender-based violence campaign, both on awareness campaigns and action, including picketing at courts and supporting victims. It is during this year under evaluation where provinces in partnership with their communities made breakthroughs in assisting authorities in apprehending criminals.
Eastern Cape comrades led a campaign against a serial killer who had raped and killed more than 20 women in four years. That case is continuing in court and we trust that comrades will continue to support the victims and the community of eTholeni. Kwa-Zulu Natal comrades led a campaign where the sugar cane serial killer was apprehended and was given the harshest sentence due to the continuous picketing of the Women’s League who would not tolerate anything less than life in prison, and the partnership they formed with SAPS.
Limpopo Women’s League broke the perceived racial divide by coming out in numbers to support Ina Bonnet who was brutally raped and tortured at the hands of her estranged husband, the Modimolle monster, and three other men. The case has been transferred to the High Court in Tswane and we are happy to see the League from Gauteng had continued with the picketing and support that Limpopo had started. The League has committed to continue this support until the monster and his co-accused are behind bars for life.
Gauteng also held a successful mini-skirt march against gender based violence that brought the CBD of Johannesburg to a standstill. Free State led a successful campaign where they formed a partnership with SAPS and other stakeholders where a serial killer was apprehended. A man in the Free State raped and killed a 13 year old girl in her school uniform and thanks to the work of the women in the province in conjunction with authorities the man is serving 33 years in the Grootvlei prison. These are just the highlights of the hard work that has been done by the League and it will continue as the struggle against gender-based violence continues.
We have also undertaken to launch the “Bring Back Shrien Dewani” campaign. It must be made clear to the international community that South Africa is not a slaughterhouse where people can come to our country and commit crimes against women or anyone else. Dewani must be extradited and face the music for the murder of his wife Annie Dewani. As the Women’s League we will mobilize on different fronts including engaging with our embassy in a bid to ensure justice is served and a strong message is sent that crime will not be tolerated in South Africa.
YOUNG WOMEN’S DESK
The ANC Women’s League has realised the importance of our young women in society and we understand that often they may feel that there is not a place for them in the Women’s League. We are therefore in the process of launching the Young Women’s Desk. We have already launched in two provinces, Free State and North West, with great success. We are seeing more young women becoming interested in joining the League and they are actively engaging the issues young women face in a modern day South Africa.
We want this to be a platform for young, bright and energetic women to tackle current issues facing women in society in a professional and dignified manner. This desk will assist to develop future women leaders of our country in every sphere of society. They are the generation who will continue the work of our forbearers in dismantling the patriarchy that continues to stifle the development of women and fuels many social ills.
We understand that the upcoming 53rd National ANC conference has generated much excitement around leadership. As the ANC Women’s League, we remain committed to parity in the entire structure, unity, continuity and change. However the policy positions are even more important as we want this to be a watershed conference. We have focused much of our attention as the Women’s League on our policy positions.
As you should know, the Women’s League sponsored a gender paper during the ANC policy conference in June 2012, and subsequently we have been working through our policy sub-committee led by the President and we are developing our gender resolutions to be considered by all policy committees at conference. We have also highlighted our children as a priority area for policy development and the socialization and development of our children in society. We understand that the most important developmental phase of our children is from the cradle, long before they start school. As a result we believe that more focus needs to be put on early childhood development and that we need to further strengthen Early Childhood Development programmes.
We need to embrace the vision that Nelson Mandela advocated that our children are the future and we should invest heavily in them. One of the topical policy positions that the league is advocating is that of economic transformation and women inclusion, through entrepreneurships and SMMEs. We are closely monitoring access and challenges to development finance, especially for women. Women remain the face of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
TRADITIONAL COURTS BILL
The ANC Women’s League is opposed to the traditional courts bill in its current form. We believe that more consultation on the bill should be done with rural women who will be the most affected if the bill comes into effect. The bill fails to ensure equal participation of women at all levels. Many traditional courts do not allow women to speak or represent themselves and this puts women at a serious disadvantage, as women often have to be represented by their male relatives.
The bill does not make allowances for appeals in other courts should women not be satisfied with the “justice” meted out by the traditional courts. The NEC has instructed our Governance sub-committee to interrogate the bill and ensure that the envisaged legislation does not reverse our gains in the struggles for gender equality and the creation of a non-sexist society.
The nominations took place after due process. All provinces, as per guidelines, held Regional General Councils and they were further consolidated through provincial nomination conferences, which all our provinces did. We can report that this was a seamless process and all these conferences were conducted freely and fairly. Yesterday we were at St George Hotel where we held our national nomination conference. We can proudly report that while the ANC has a 50% gender parity policy, our list in its entirety has 61% gender representation.
Our women would like to make the following nominations for the 53rdNational Conference of the ANC:
President: Jacob Zuma
Deputy President: Cyril Ramaphosa
Secretary General: Gwede Mantashe
Deputy Secretary General: Jessie Duarte
Chairperson: Baleka Mbete
Treasurer General: Zweli Mkhize
Additional members: (see attached list)
Statement issued by ANC Women’s League President, Angie Motshekga, November 27 2012