Western Cape Traditional Leaders Pledge Support for Respect
Media Statement by Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Today Western Cape traditional leaders pledged their support to the recently launched Respect Campaign. This Campaign emerged from the Western Cape Government’s “Create a Culture of Respect” theme for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.
At the 16 Days launch, the Minister partnered with our sport stars, actors, comedians and radio personalities to ask the people of the Western Cape to “create a culture of respect” and take a stand against the abuse of the most vulnerable people in society. The traditional leaders made a similar commitment today. They pledged to use their influence to promote the culture of respect in their various communities.
One of the biggest challenges for the 16 Days of Activism Campaign is the lack of continuity from year to year. The Western Cape Government is therefore recruiting ambassadors who are leaders and role models in our communities to continue fighting against the abuse of women, children and other vulnerable people far beyond the 16 Days Campaign period.
Today, I made a plea to the leaders of traditional councils and initiation forums to emphasise the principles of respect in their traditional teachings at initiation schools. Thousands of young men go through this crucial rite of passage every year and this is a valuable opportunity to teach them about the vital importance of respecting and protecting vulnerable members of our society.
I am in agreement with our traditional leaders that respect is mutual and it is earned through just action, not through violence and abuse. We are fortunate that these important leaders and bearers of traditional values have committed themselves to working with government to spread this message.
Violence and abuse may be the result of severe socio-economic challenges, but I believe that creating a culture of mutual respect in our communities will contribute towards successfully beating this scourge.
I have implored our traditional leaders to uphold the teachings of our culture. In our culture, women are respected. In our culture, children are protected. In our culture, mutual respect is upheld.
We no longer can have horrendous acts of abuse against our women and children justified in the name of culture.
Click here to view the full pledge.