Mandeni women marched through the streets in black and red last week in protest to the high number of violent murders and rapes reported locally.
Mandeni deputy mayor Phindile Sishi hosted the women’s meeting at Sibusisiwe Hall.
The next day it was as if the men of the town responded, as they too – led by local pastors marched against gender-based violence.
The demonstrations follow the murder of a woman at KwaHlomendlini, leaving behind a one-year-old child and the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Macambini 2 months ago.
Sishi said there were many more cases that did not make the headlines.
“These incidents tell you that we have a serious problem in our beloved Mandeni and if we do not stand up and fight this, who will?”
She also said the high number of illegal shebeens were a problem and highlighted the discrimination against divorced women, saying it played a big role in forcing women into staying in abusive relationships.
“We need to stop the name-calling people who get divorced, because some women do want to move out of abusive relationships but the discrimination they get from society makes them feel unwanted,” she said.
Both the women and men handed their memorandum to Sundumbili Saps.