Archive | March, 2019

My formal complaint with the Commission for Gender Equality against​ SWIFT

18 Mar

Ms.​ Rosie Motene has lodged a formal complaint with the Commission for Gender Equality in February 2018 regarding SWIFT SWIFT – Sisters Working in Film and Television
The complaint was based on the following alleged issues:
– The organisation was established in 2016 and has positioned itself as an aid to assist with curving sexual harassment and helping sexual survivors within the SA film & TV industry. Since its start, SWIFT did not attempt to align itself with a gender-based organisation for consulting and support.
– After the allegation surfaced regarding filmmaker Khalo Matabane, Rosie Motene and their survivors approached the organisation for assistance. Through the board and chairperson, Sara Blecher, they were offered legal assistance and support, which did not surface.
– Ms. Motene has raised concerns on the alleged protection of Ms. Carew against survivors.
– Ms. Motene is concerned with the legal letter issued by​ Ms.​ Carew and SWIFT asking for a round table between herself, SWIFT, NFVF, IPO. A letter which Ms. Motene replied through her lawyer but as not received any reply for the complainant.
Ms. Motene acknowledges the work put in by the government and the organisation on skills development and traveling to film markets around the world but is concerned with the lack of resources and transparency around assisting survivors of abuse and sexual assault. Through the personal and online assistance and correspondence, Ms. Motene and other survivors were not given adequate support​​ and at some point, a survivors concern was dismissed by Sara Blecher by her statement that the survivor is unstable, due to her PTSD. We agree that PTSD is a serious issue but no support was given at that point.
In an interview on Radio 702, the SWIFT spokesperson stated that the had reached out to POWA and Ms. Rosie Motene for assistance. This is untrue as in 2018, it was Ms. Motene who reached out t SWIFT for help, only to find they had no other GBV organisation attached.
As empowered by Section 187 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the CGE Act 39 0f 1996, as amended, Section 11 (1) (e) the Commission shall investigate any gender-related issues of its own accord or receipt of a complaint, and shall endeavour to resolve any dispute or rectify any act or omission by mediation, conciliation or negotiation.
Once the Commission’s investigation is finalised, a report will be released making the findings and recommendations known to the public.

POWA Press Statement regarding​ the Babes Wodumo video that was posted on Instagram.

4 Mar


POWA is aware of the video that is currently trending on social media about the “alleged” Mampintsha abuse video of Babes Wodumo. This presents the realities that most women in South Africa are experiencing on daily basis. The statistics of intimate partner violence are currently alarming and increase daily. The South Africa President on the Gender-based Violence summit that was conducted in November 2018 and the State of the Nation Address (SONA) February 2019 confirmed that the country is a crisis with regard to violence against women and girls. This necessitates that proactive measures be put in place to address the current status, this includes amongst others re-establishing the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and developing a National Action Plan on Gender Based Violence that is economically viable, time-bound with proper accountability measures and monitoring. However, it was disappointing that during the current budget speech February 2019, Minister of Finance did not allocate a budget towards the promises made during the GBV Summit and SONA to address the violence against women and girls. This, therefore, shows that there is no political will to address the status quo, and it can be taken that our government just does a lip service.
The current “alleged” Mampintsha abuse video of Babes Wodumo is one of the many cases that bring a face to the statistics of violence against women and girls. Irrespective of the fact that a lot of women still die in silence, due to the current status where women are stigmatised and not protected. Women continually live in fear of their lives even in the hands of their intimate partners.
POWA’s advice to women is not to ignore signs of abuse in relationships, report abuse, and consult for psychosocial support in order to be assisted to have the strength to go through a tedious process of the criminal justice system and exiting an abusive relationship when necessary. Whatever evidence that there may be to an alleged criminal matter like in the current matter is not enough unless a context is created by the complainant or victim to give it effect to the evidence. This also assists the criminal justice system in using the law to protect women from violence. For proper dispensation of justice, women are encouraged not to withdraw their cases, and this is possible when we utilise available psychosocial service.
POWA once again is pleading with the members of the criminal justice system to take violence against women and girls seriously, not trivialise it and apply the law to the letter to protect lives. We also recommend that the suspects in domestic violence cases should not be given bail, based on the sensitivity of domestic Violence. This does not only affect the victim but the rest of the family members, and often times the suspect when given bail usually interferes with the state witness and family members committing more offences that could have been avoided.

For Further assistance and access to psychosocial social services for support please contact POWA at​ 011 642 4345/6
Like us on Facebook: POWA
Follow us on Twitter: POWA_ZA
Instagram: POWA_ZA