Following the news this past fortnight, you’d never say it was Women’s Month.
There have been some truly shocking stories about women in Cape Town being ruthlessly murdered.
The murder of show jumper Meghan Cremer has sent shockwaves across the country, and even made headlines in the foreign media.
The 30-year-old’s body was found at a sand mine in Philippi a week ago after being missing for five days.
The suspects – Jeremy Sias, 27, Charles Daniels, 39, and Shiraaz Jaftha, 34 – have been arrested on charges of murder, theft of a vehicle and the possession of stolen property.
In a cruel twist, it emerged that Sias – said to be the one who piemped and led cops to the body – had grown up on the Philippi stud farm where Meghan lived, and was trusted by the farm community.
What could be more sickening?
Well, if you must ask, earlier this week, eight months pregnant Sadiqah Newman was gunned down in a Manenberg street.
The 26-year-old mother of two apparently begged for her life before Dixie Boys gangsters shot her four times in the head.
Arrests soon followed – well done to the police – and four suspects have been charged with Sadiqah’s murder.
Sadly, she wasn’t the only young mother to be senselessly gunned down in recent days.
Denushe Witbooi, 25, a mom of one, was shot dead while sitting in a car in Eastridge on 4 August.
No arrests have been made.
Now, what more can be said or done to address the epidemic of violence against women?
Is it even necessary to send a message to these killers, saying: “Come on, guys, it’s Women’s Month, try to stop killing our women?”
No. This is clearly not the solution.
So what else is there to do?
Increased policing is always a good idea.
There has been a stronger police presence, reinforced by the deployment of the army, on the Cape Flats.
And, yes, it has made a difference, but still the violence does not appear to have abated.
Look, it’s unrealistic to expect cops and soldiers to pop up in all the right places in the nick of time to prevent these attacks.
We can only hope that Operation Prosper, or whatever it is called, now steps up its efforts and really starts cleaning up our communities.
One major positive to come out of this bloody Women’s Month is not the response of the men, the police or the SANDF, but the way women have taken a stand.
In the wake of Meghan’s murder, more than 30 000 women have signed a petition to prevent the suspects getting bail.
The Facebook group, SA Women Fight Back, has quickly formed a “women’s army”, saying in their petition: “Let us ensure these men never walk our streets again. Let us make South Africa a safer place for everyone. Let us be the change.”
Tassi Tyne Carelse, of SA Women Fight Back, says: “Why don’t we arrange for meet-up points in different areas around South Africa?
“Get a group of women together to meet and just start talking. Come up with contacts who can train us and start building a woman’s army. Take back our power.”
Amen, sister. Good idea.
In this month, let all women unite and empower themselves to take a stand against this scourge of violence.
Not just on Facebook and WhatsApp, but in our communities and in our courts.
Munier Grootbek will be away and will return on Friday, 6 September.