President Ramaphosa misleads public about GBV Bills
18 June 2020
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, to ask that she informs President Cyril Ramaphosa that he has misled the public in his address to the nation last night when he erroneously stated that Parliament is dragging its feet on Bills to assist the fight against gender-based violence (GBV).
This statement by the President was discussed in full at Parliament’s programming meeting this morning, and it was found and agreed upon that there is currently no legislation that Parliament has not dealt with in terms of GBV.
The only Bill that comes close to dealing with GBV is the Prescription of Sexual Offenses Amendment that has already passed through Parliament and is currently before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for consideration.
It is clear then that inaction in dealing with this scourge comes from the President’s own Cabinet, and that his Ministers are simply trying to shift the blame for a problem that has been paid nothing but lip service for years.
There has been no attempt by Cabinet to address this problem since Parliament debated GBV in September last year.
Parliament has always processed any Bills that come to it with the necessary urgency.
The DA’s own private member’s bill (PMB) is close to finalisation and will be tabled before Parliament soon. If passed, this Bill will replace the current Domestic Violence Act and the Protection from Harassment Act with legislation better suited to protect victims of inter-personal and domestic abuse.
Unless the President steps in and ensures that his Ministers draft Bills, his statement last night will only be empty words to try and appease the anger simmering in communities but will ultimately not stem the GBV tide.
Issued byNatasha Mazzone,DA Chief Whip, 18 June 2020