Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe inadvertently took a swipe at black violence on Saturday when he called on men not to hide behind culture to perpetuate gender-based violence.
He did not venture into racial differences however, but it is a well-established fact that gender-based violence is rife in black communities.
Despite concerted media efforts – with much-publicised high profile cases – to portray white men as equally violent, rape figures have increased dramatically since 1994, most involving black perpetrators.
Motlanthe was addressing a poorly attended National Men’s Rally at the Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The event was aimed at addressing issues of violence and abuse against women and children.
Under the theme of “Not in My Name”, Motlanthe addressed a stadium with many open seats.
He said that gender inequality was a huge stumbling block in fighting abuse.
He added that only if men helped defeat stereotypes and the classification of women could the scourge truly be stopped.
“If we take refugee behind culture, we will then perpetuate gender-based violence,” said Motlanthe.
After his address, Motlanthe was joined by Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana and Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau in signing a pledge promising no form of violence against women and children would be enacted in their name.
The government is trying to fight worsening perceptions about the level of violence in South Africa, with little enthusiasm from most inhabitants, however.