Monday, November 26, 2007

South African Campaign Against Abuse Begins With Marches

JOHANNESBURG 25 November 2007 Sapa


Limpopo premier Sello Moloto took part in the million men march to mark the 16 days of activism campaign of no violence against women and children in Polokwane on Sunday.

Spokesman Mogale Nchabeleng said the premier would later tell the marchers about the challenges facing government in the past 13 years regarding gender violence and mapped out what need to be done as a way forward.

Limpopo is battling with cases of violence ranging from assault, rape and murder. Unresolved cases include that of 13 children in Modimolle - who have been missing for the past four years.

Seven of them have since been found raped and murdered.

Thousands of people were expected to march in other provinces to mark the 16 days of activism against women and child abuse.

In Bloemfontein, Free State Premier Beatrice Marshoff will deliver the welcome address after the million men march at the Vista University Sports Grounds.

Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ncquka will receive a torch of peace later on Sunday which she will light to officially launch the campaign.

Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Nqakula, and Social
Development and Welfare minister Zola Skweyiya were also expected to speak at the gathering.

Mpumalanga premier Thabang Makwetla will lead a march from the Lowveld Show Grounds to the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court where a memorandum will be handed over to the MEC for Safety and Security in the province.

In the North West, premier Edna Molewa would speak in Maboloka near Brits.

She is expected to talk about the disappearance of police Constable Francis Rasuge and 32 houses that would be built as part of the campaign.

Rasuge's boyfriend William Nkuna has been sentenced for life for her murder though her body has not yet been found.

JOHANNESBURG 23 November 2007 Sapa


The Young Communist League (YCL) has challenged women, men and children to actively play a role against abuses among the vulnerable sections of society, especially poor women and children, spokesman Castro Ngobese said on Sunday.

"Women and children of our country continue to endure the pain and abuse that manifest itself through sexual molestation, domestic violence, sexual harassment, torture, rape, and other related abuses perpetuated against them," he said.

Ngobese said these abusers were "shaped" by apartheid to treat and think of women and children as secondary class citizens.

"The YCL, is conscious that the liberation of women occupied a special space in the liberation struggle. Therefore, violence against women and children should be located and understood against the background of socio -economic conditions in our country and the growing gap between the rich and the poor."

He said the socio-economic conditions exposed the majority of women and children to abuse and subjected them to the gallows of poverty and underdevelopment.

"The YCL urges government and civil society formations to act in unison in accentuating the plight of both women and children abuse, and mobilise society behind a progressive programme to end abuses perpetuated against these vulnerable sections of our society.

"As part of the 16 Days of Activism to no violence against women and children, we call on our structures, our cadres and indeed all our people to fully partake in all the activities of this campaign," he said.

JOHANNESBURG 25 November 2007 Sapa


A 50-year-old woman from Maboloka near Brits in the North West would be one of 32 people who would receive a house as part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, the office of the premier said on Sunday.

"The provincial government is building houses for people who had been exposed to abuse," spokesman Russel Mamabolo said.

"The house will provide shelter and confidence for them."

He said some people had been forced or fled their homes as a result of abuse.

Grace Dlamini, a victim of abuse, told premier Edna Molewa at the sod turning ceremony that she did not have a home of her own.

As a result of the housing initiative, Dlamini would be the owner of a two-bedroomed house in 16 days.

The houses will be ready for occupation by December 10, Mamabolo said.

Last year, the provincial government built 16 houses as part of the 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

JOHANNESBURG 25 November 2007 Sapa


A new test is expected to significantly reduce the number of women killed by cervical cancer, Lancet Laboratories said on Sunday.

Testing for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) - some forms of which could cause cervical cancer - would allow for more accurate and earlier detection, spokesman Jason Penrose said.

"While the traditional pap test can find infections and abnormal cervical cells that can turn into cancer cells, [this] test detects the presence of HPV cells in the cervix. It is also 100 percent sensitive, meaning it will pick up even a tiny amount of the virus, unlike the conventional pap smear, which only has a sensitivity of 54 percent," he said.

While cervical cancer was curable, around 3400 South African women still died from the disease every year, mainly due to late detection.

"The Human Papilloma Virus, which has around 100 types, some of which can cause cell changes leading to cancer, is present in eight out of 10 women."

The HPV test was presently more expensive than the normal pap smear.

"Its 100 percent sensitivity enables women to take the test at considerably longer intervals than one would have to do pap smears."

This was particularly relevant in developing countries where women were realistically only tested once in their lifetime.

The accuracy of the HPV test would enable doctors to determine whether a woman was at risk of developing the disease at a later stage.

Microbiologist Dr Louis Marcus said: "The HPV leading to genital warts is generally not cancer-causing and is one of the most common found in women."

"This is also the reason why we recommend the HPV test only to women over the age of 30 and ideally in conjunction with a normal pap smear. In women under that age the virus is mostly temporary and removed by a healthy immune system," said Marcus.

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