Thu, 09 Apr 2020

"The death of Tazne van Wyk is one death too many," Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

He and Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu responded to opposition MPs who complained the government was not doing enough in the fight against gender-based violence, against the backdrop of the death of eight-year-old Tazne, allegedly at the hands of parolee Moyhdian Pangarker.

Zulu said violence against women should not be politicised and everybody should work together to combat it. "Let us commit to working in our communities."

She added President Cyril Ramaphosa and several ministers were due to visit the Van Wyk family on Tuesday afternoon.

Mthembu agreed society needed to work together to combat the scourge.

"We need to intensify our community efforts to fight gender-based violence. The death of Tazne van Wyk is one death too many. We need to do more. Enough is enough. Let's fight this with everything in our power."

Zulu said gender-based violence is "not an issue for us to make jokes about".

Last week, the debate on Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address was marred by the trivialisation of gender-based violence when ANC MP Boy Mamabolo accused EFF leader Julius Malema of assaulting his wife, to which Malema responded by saying Ramaphosa had assaulted his late former wife.

Both have since apologised.

Tuesday's sitting, the first for the National Assembly in 2019, got off to a false start when House chairperson Grace Boroto postponed the members' statements to later in the sitting because not enough ministers were present. Only ministers Blade Nzimande and Patricia de Lille were present.

This after the National Assembly rules were changed to move the members' statement to earlier in the sitting to allow ministers to attend to MP concerns.

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