Stellenbosch FC midfielder Asavela Mbekile has written an open letter to the South African public, pleading for the end of violence against women and children.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a profound problem and as South Africa continues to fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, an epidemic of GBV continues to affect women and children.
Crime statistics released back in 2018 showed that 2,930 women were murdered in 12 months. This statistic amounts to one murder every three hours.
Mbekile’s open letter on anti-GBV
“I am sorry that I’ve put fear into your life. I am sorry that you feel unsafe around me even though I was meant to love and care for you.
“I am sorry that I am the reason for your death even though you gave birth to me. I am ashamed to call myself a man when so many of you are dying because of these hands. Your tears weren’t what we were supposed to see.
“I was raised by a strong woman (sis Thandi) who had nothing but did everything in her power to make sure I had everything.
“I have nothing but love from her, now I fear that she may go to the shops and never comes back. I worry about my cousins too.
“When they go out to meet their friends and partners, I am worried that it may be the last time I see them.
“I am left with so many questions: Will I see them again? Do I wave goodbye?
“I worry about my beautiful wife when she goes to work. Work or at home these women are not safe.
“What is the future without women? Who will care for us when they are not around? Who will point us into the right direction when we are lost or confused? What have they done to deserve so much hate and violence from us?
“I know these are difficult and unbearable times for you. I also know that you don’t trust me, but I am with you. Even though I will never know your pain. Your cry keeps me awake at night.
“I beg you, South Africa, to stop this violence against the only people who have nothing but love for all of us.”
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Compiled by Tokelo Martin Mokhesi