Violence against women: An Open Letter to President Zuma

Dear Mr President,

Please note the opinions in this letter mean NO disrespect towards you or the ruling party.

I’m just sharing my state of emotions.

[This could go in a footnote if you feel it affects the style but I think it should be included for non-SA readers] South African Police Service (SAPS) vans park at a municipal office [the relevance of the vans isn’t really clear here. is there a reference i’m not getting?]. I’m twenty three, and I have survived without running water and so has Malema’s [again, footnote for people who may not know who Malema is?] family. Charity begins at home, if he can’t do for his own, why would he be expected to provide a basic right such as water to any other family?

In Botlokwa, my hometown, a lack of proper water infrastructure, amongst other things, is a problem.

But we survive.

South Africa on the other hand, has a bigger problem which should be addressed as first priority because the solution will not, unlike the water, require a tender process.

The problem is the lack of respect for women.

This is South Africa’s problem.

No one stood up to defend Sarah Baartman from being ridiculed. In the same breath, no one voiced their opinion when Kenny Kunene and his mate, J. Malema, ate sushi off half naked women. As a way to avoid instilling discipline in the two men, the response focused on this as a flagrant display of wealth, rather than the issues of sexism and misogyny. So the message echoed then faded.

In the same breath, women and children are raped and abused daily yet Bheki Cele was busy signing property leases, attending rich people’s weddings and telling the underpaid, lazy police force to “shoot to kill” criminals despite their lack of brain functionality leading to innocent people’s deaths.

Am I the only who seems to remember that you, Mr Zuma, slept with women half your age, cheating on your WIVES? One of these women has accused you of rape while another claims that you fathered her child. As a result your peers saw you as ‘The Man’ – 60+ and yet even those young enough to be your daughters supposedly still go weak for your charm or status or money

And in a country still fighting the AIDS battle, you still ‘eat your banana without a peel on’.

Personally I have since concluded that you are sexist and have no understanding of women except for their anatomy and reproductive abilities.

The motivation for my letter to you is due to the death of someone a year older than me.

She fell victim to men with your kind of treatment and disregard for women’s safety.

She was lesbian, a woman who was attracted to other woman.

She had sex with them because that was her preference, as much as yours is with multiple women. Your love for women was your common ground.

Noxolo Nogwaza is amongst many that made the list of those who died from the cruel concept of corrective rape.

Like most gut-wrenching issues, hate crime is never seen for what it is in this country. Instead it is labelled as ‘just’ rape, distorting the matter at hand.

Is this because the government refuses to acknowledge the LGBTI community?

Or does a gay person need to contribute to the country’s selling strategy of promoting great/talented citizens like Somizi Mhlongo or Castor Semenya before some understanding is had or care is shown?

As a leader and public figure, you need to realize that people are suffering, from ignorance, which leads to others having to live in fear because abusers are neighbours these days.

The LGBTI community is being killed, victimized, threatened and abused yet they contribute to tax like other citizens, the same tax that pays your salary and helps take care of the ‘Zuma clan’.

You are using gay money, so you need to sort this problem out.

While you fly out the country to reprimand Mugabe or sort out Libya, your own people are suffering.

Zimbabwe and Libya are still in turmoil and your efforts are pointless because charity begins at home. Take care of us here first before you use my tax to go solve other people’s problems.

The ANC may be 99 years old and confident that it will win the votes, but my one vote against it will make a difference.

My great-great grandmother, Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke, must be turning in her grave when looking down on what the ANC Women’s League has become. The same organization that should be sympathetic towards women and children are hiding behind wigs, short tailored skirts with no care in the world about what women go through daily.

Mr President, your family is ‘lucky’ to not have homosexuals. They are lucky to be surrounded by 24/7 security personnel at my monthly expense. However, what about the homosexuals in Kwa-Thema, Soweto and other communities, with no assurance of safety?

What is being done for them?


Sly Pod (concerned citizen)

Selaelo ‘Sly’ / @SlyPod

For more articles on violence against women click here. Also read this piece about the rape of Kwezi and Jacob Zuma. 

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