Deputy President closes the 16 Days for Activism Campaign in North West, 10 December 2005

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 16 Days for Activism against Women and Child Abuse Campaign, in Lichtenburg, in the North West Province, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka urged all South Africans to continue to fight against women and child abuse throughout the year and that their commitment to the fight must not end today on the 16th day of the campaign.

"I would like to make sure that we see this day as a day we rededicate ourselves to activism against abuse. We must therefore, when we leave here today, not say it is over and go back to abusing women and children," said the Deputy President.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against women and Children campaign takes place from 25 November to 10 December annually, with the key commemorative days being:

  • 25 November (International Day for No Violence Against Women);
  • 1 December (International AIDS Day),
  • 3 December (International Day for the Disabled) and
  • 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

The Deputy President described the 16 day-period as a period of heightened awareness; during which focus is given on issues around children and women abuse.

The Deputy President said that South African laws are there to protect people, to give people access to justice and punish those who prey on the weak and vulnerable. She urged all; women and men alike, to commit themselves to defending these rights.

The Deputy President called on everyone to use these laws as a second line of defence. She said that the family should be the first line of defence. "Our homes should be our first line of defence; our homes should be our places of safety," said Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The Deputy President said that "we fought hard for these laws and we will never surrender them. In this regard, the Department of Justice is reviewing the proposed amendments to the new Sexual Offences Bill and this legislation will come before us for finalisation in Parliament next year".

When the campaign was officially launched on the 25 November at the Katlehong Stadium in Ekurhuleni the Deputy President had an opportunity to light the Campaign's Torch of Peace.

"This torch, which will burn throughout the year in our hearts and in our lives, is a symbol of peace and signifies no violence," the Deputy President said.

"The torch starts this journey today as we will be handing it over to the Minister of Transport, Mr Jeff Radebe. The Torch of Peace will reflect our wish as South Africans to enjoy peace on our roads over this festive season".

"As many of our people will be on the road travelling to and from their various holiday destinations, the Arrive Alive campaign reminds us to take every precaution to ensure that we reach our homes and holiday destinations safely," said the Deputy President.

In January, Minister Radebe will hand the Torch of Peace over to the Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor, to highlight the importance of peace in our schools and to reinforce the values that underpin the Safer Schools project.

The Deputy President was accompanied by North West Premier, Ms Edna Molewa, the Transport Minister Mr Jeff Radebe, Correctional Service Deputy Minister, Ms Cheryl Gillwald.

Terrence Manase
Cell: 082 338 6707

Issued by: The Presidency
10 December 2005

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