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Today, the 25th of November marks the start of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, #16DaysOfActivism and this year’s theme is “Count me in”

Here in South Africa the day was officially launched in the rural town of Lebowakgomo in Limpopo by President Jacob Zuma, whose rape accuser Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, known to the public as only as Khwezi died recently. I must say, the President was acquitted of the rape of then 31-year-old HIV-positive Khwezi. Judge Willem van der Merwe who presided over the case found that Zuma and his accuser had “consensual sex in Zuma’s main bedroom”. The President was free, the victim, or NOT, was forced into exile in the Netherlands for her own safety.

I am curious, would someone lie about being raped and go to the extra lengths of going to court and subjecting themselves to the abuse and humiliation Khwezi did?

I read a tweet somewhere saying “women are liars until proven honest”. Think about for a minute. If a woman told you she was rape by someone powerful and known, would you believe her?

But that is NOT what we are talking about.

With the #16DaysOfActivisim underway, everyone is an activist, suddenly finding a voice to say something. But come the 10th of December when the campaign ends, we will be talking about Christmas or the next big issue making news headlines.

Do we have to wait for the 25th of November each year to stand against the abuse of women and children?

Speaking at the #16DayofActivism launch Zuma called on victims of gender-based violence to report the abuse to police

In South Africa alone, 150 women report being raped to the police, about 30 of the cases will be prosecuted, and only 10 will result in a conviction.

I say, we need more than 16 days in a year to change this.

By Ntsoaki Shoeshoe Qhu

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