Buffalo City Mayor Princess Faku has announced that a recreational centre located on the beachfront of East London will be named after slain female boxing and karate champion Leighandre 'Baby Lee' Jegels. Faku made the announcement during her opening address at the Accountability Dialogue held at the East London ICC this week.
“We had to sit down and make sure that we remember victims of gender-based violence by creating recreational centres to remember ‘Baby Lee’ and we are forever grateful that we have been given that opportunity by her family” said Faku.
25-year-old ‘Baby Lee’ Jegels was gunned down by her boyfriend in August 2019 on Voortrekker Road in East London, in front of her mother. ‘Baby Lee’ is part of thousands of women who have become victims of femicide in the Eastern Cape, which has emerged as the leading province with cases of GBV, according to the South African Medical Research Council.
Mayor Faku also said women in leadership positions, whether in government or the private sector have the responsibility to fight patriarchy and ensure fair gender representation at the executive level.
“In Buffalo City, in the 150 days that we are there, we make sure that women rise to senior positions in the municipality. We fight against patriarchy, we fight against issues that relate to gender issues because these are the fundamental issues that we have to fight in workplaces” adds Faku.
Faku told delegates that it is imperative to empower women economically as some remain in abusive situations because they are financially dependent on the abuser.
The Accountability dialogue was conceptualised and hosted by Masimanyane Women’s Rights International together with the Women Ikhwelo Network (WIN). They represent 116 mainly rural-based civil society organisations from the Eastern Cape that have been working towards the eradication of gender-based violence and femicide in the country at the local / community level.
The state and civil society will report on progress made so far and discuss current challenges that are impediments in the fight against GBVF.
By Staff Writer