GIVING SUPPORT: ANCWL members and friends of rape victim Ina Bennette show solidarity in the Modimolle court. Picture: Herbert Matimba
Having constantly voiced its concerns at the abuse of women and children recently, the ANC Women’s League on Sunday defined its role, saying it was still a multi-faceted organisation with many obligations to fulfil on the South African political landscape.
ANCWL national spokesperson Troy Martens told The New Age that the movement was keen on steering the ANC to an overwhelming victory in the 2014 elections. She said the voice of the organisation would not only be heard when a child or a woman was raped in the country, but also in the lobbying for policy and other political issues affecting the country as a whole.
“We are very much a part of the ANC and if you read the constitution of our organisation, you will clearly see our roles. And we will play many roles in the 2014 elections like helping the ANC win the majority of votes.”
She said the roles of the league were also visible in the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC as well as the national working committee of the governing party.
The ANCWL had recently been very vocal against rapes, murders and the abuse of women and children in the country. The movement issued several statements condemning the acts of crimes perpetrated against women. It also called on the state to deny Paralympian Oscar Pistorius bail for allegedly killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Some ANCWL members also attended the bail application hearing at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court last week to demonstrate their concerns, a move that raised questions about whether the movement was exerting itself on the crime developments in the country, at the expense of fulfilling its political obligations.
“But Martens insisted that the ANCWL was also making a mark on the political front. She said the “insinuations that the party was not visible enough on the political field were unfounded.
Despite league’s opposition, Pistorius was granted R1m bail.
ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the governing party was happy with the contribution of it women’s league to the society. He said people of the female gender were at the receiving end of crime in the country, adding that it was therefore important for the ANCWL to be visible on that score. “They (ANCWL) cannot keep quiet as these issues affect women and we are happy with their participation.”