By Emily Setona
BETHLEHEM – A group of men marched from Bethlehem town hall to Bohlokong new hall all in the name of raising their voices against the scourge of gender based violence that has taken over South Africa. Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality speaker Thabo Mokoena led this power walk as he champions his outreach program under the theme of social cohesion through public participation.
“The reason why we decided to have this power walk on this day is because in our country’s history, this day marks a time when a group of women marched together in solidarity against an injustice at that time. Today as men we say that the injustice that we are marching against today is GBV and we say that we are with women in the fight against this social injustice that is starting to feel like a pandemic in our communities,” Mokoena said.
In on 9 August 1956, about 20 000women marched to the Unicon Building in Pretoria to protest against legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas. Most of the speakers who took to the stage during this event held at Bohlokong New hall encouraged men to be strong and echoed the same sentiment that both men and women need prayer in this time and that talking about their problems could help men to deal with their frustrations instead of resorting to violence.
“As a councilor in this district I feel compelled to support such initiatives, I was very moved by one of the pastors who reminded us that as men we are created in God’s image and that God will not hurt his creation so us as men should find it within ourselves to protect the women and children in our lives,” Maruis Marais said.