In preparation for the Easter holidays, Durban Christian Centre has organised a Jesus March.
The famously busy Dr Pixley ka Seme formerly known as West street is at a stand still as christians dressed in red march to create awareness of the day Jesus died on the cross.
One of the pastors of this church, is dressed in the the attire that appears in the crucification pictures of Jesus and drench in red paint in place of blood and carrying a cross on his shoulders serves an iconic meaning to most christians as they march for the Lord.
A member of the church, Jane Smith who was handing out pamphlets of the services the church offers said “This is the day that the Lord has made”, when calling people to join them on their daily crusades. They kept shouting “Do not miss the chance to see the work of the Lord”, speaking of the good friday weekend.
The March has attracted a lot of christians from different congregations as they also serve the same purpose.
According to a study conducted by the Interpol (International Police Agency) a woman is raped every 17 seconds in South Africa.
Sarah Smith* (42) a mother of three, community worker and activist is one of the many women who have fallen victim to the fast growing rape epidemic. Smith has had a tough life growing up with a secret that has haunted her for over twenty years. At the age of 15 she was gang raped by five men one of which later in her married life found to be her husband’s first cousin.
Smith a tomboy at 15 was lured to a neighbour’s house by someone who she thought was a friend. She had never had sex before and that was her first sexual encounter which at a later stage started to affect her marriage “I thought I did not have to enjoy sex as a woman, it was just to please your man”. Said Smith.
She never pressed charges because she felt going the traditional judicial route was not ideal. “I dealt with it the best way I knew how, and I feel I have come a long way”. Twenty years down the line Smith was still struggling to come to terms with her experience. That at 35 she was hospitalised and diagnosed with depression for which she took medication for three years. “I was not happy and totally numbed, I had constant headaches”.
It was hard for Smith trying to live again and having to see one of the perpetrators going in and out of her house as if everything was okay. “It was like I was reliving the rape over and over again each time I saw him”. It took a lot of courage but Smith finally confronted him and told him, she did not want to see him ever again.
Rape is a life altering issue “I try to help people who have been through it and caution others about it”. Smith said. She has enrolled her daughter to karate and teaches her son how to treat women.
Black economic empowerment (BEE) is an initiative to compensate the wrongs of the past. It is a rational development strategy that aims to comprehend the country’s full economic potential while helping to bring the black majority into the economic mainstream.
BEE is a growth strategy, to stabilize the wealth disparities. It is a tool intended to increase or widen the economic base of the country and further creating employment as it is explained in the Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2003.
Recently there has been a debate of who qualifies to be a BEE. As the Asians “Indians and Chinese” are now classified as black and can reap the fruits of the Black Economic Empowerment.
According to the South African constitution the only people classified as whites in this country are English people and Afrikaners. This makes every other race either than the two mentioned fall under black.
The history of Indians goes as far back as the 1900’s. When South Africa was still under the Apartheid government, Indians were part of the black majority that was oppressed. Ahmad Kathrada a freedom fighter whom at thirty four was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor but only served 26 years in Robben Island serving his time with the late Walter Sisulu and former president Nelson Mandela.
It seems this has been forgotten when people question the BEE status and qualification. This is the kind of freedom these men fought for; they sacrificed their lives and families to build a better living and fair treatment for all. Indians just as much as the “black” race deserve to be empowered because they suffered the same difficulties in the times of apartheid.
What raises more eyebrows is that Chinese people have also fallen under this BEE action. Where were they when South Africa was still oppressed and struggling? They have come to reap the fruits of the struggle where they did not participate. Chinese people have been very selfish, coming to South Africa opening up businesses and employing their own, that does not help the economy of South Africa because all that money goes back to China.
BEE is supposed to boost the economy of South Africa not to lose money because people who are employees do not pay tax in this Country.