The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has demanded that the Constitutional Court force lower courts to quickly complete all outstanding gender-based violence (GBV) cases.
Led by its president, Bathabile Dlamini, the ANCWL marched to the Constitutional Court where it handed over its demands.
“We are here to register our grievances as women and the way the justice system is dealing with cases of femicide, GBV and violence against women and children. We think that there is a bigger role that can be played by the Constitutional Court because its mandate is to protect the Constitution of the country.
“The Constitution of the country is about the protection of all citizens of the country. We have a list of all the women who were killed many years ago and their cases have not been completed in various courts,” said Dlamini.
She added the ANCWL was worried about the many outstanding cases that needed to go to trial.
“We demand to be furnished with baseline statistics of backlogs and delayed cases of violence on women and children. The chief justice must issue a directive to all judge presidents on how to deal with the backlog of delays of cases.
“We demand to know the plan that judge presidents have put in place to respond to this directive by the chief justice. We demand extended court hours to fast-track cases of GBV. The parole board must be transformed and recomposed to include activists and representatives of victims and survivors. Bail must not be granted to perpetrators of GBV,” Dlamini said.
The ANCWL has called for life sentences without parole for those convicted of GBV.
Dlamini said it wanted those convicted to serve their sentences until they die.
“These [delays] are hurting family members of the deceased and they are left bleeding without closure. We together with NGOs and other organizations are working on 365-day campaigns to ensure that justice is delivered against all who abuse women and children.
“These campaigns should be extended to communities where GBV is taking place. We have agreed to form command centres to fight violence against women and children. Anyone who wants to be part of the programme and is willing to fight against the scourge is encouraged to join,” she added.
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