We know that there are pressing problems in our country. As leaders we know that the economy is in bad shape, and urgent interventions are needed if South Africa is to survive the financial crisis. Unemployment is an ever-present problem, and poverty demands our attention. But these are all slow-burning problems. They will take time to resolve. Even if Government acts now – which indeed it must – these problems will be with us for years to come.

The problem of violence against women and children is different. It is, right now, a matter of life or death. If we act now, things change immediately.

When we say, “Take action today to secure a safer tomorrow”, we are not talking about the tomorrow of some far distant future. This tomorrow is the real tomorrow; because when we act to stop violence, the next day is utterly changed for the person whose life is saved. For many, we are not only securing a safer tomorrow; we are ensuring that there IS a tomorrow.

I am honoured to stand alongside my President, and to thank him as he takes this battle forward.

This was my final mandate to the IFP as I stepped down from leadership. I asked that the Party I founded do this most important thing: protect our women and children. The IFP is the champion of the vulnerable. We believe in the dignity of every individual, regardless of gender, race or age. Every individual has a right to life, a right to security, and a right to have their dignity upheld.

This is the fundamental belief of the Inkatha Freedom Party. When we championed the inclusion of a Bill of Rights in South Africa’s democratic Constitution, we did so knowing that human rights will always need protection.

The IFP Women’s Brigade, the National Executive Committee, and all the structures of the IFP are taking a stand in line with our Party’s beliefs.