In 2016, acting in his capacity as Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa launched the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) ‘National Sex Work Sector Plan 2016-2019’ and presented the leader of the Sex Work Sector, Ms Kholi Buthelezi, with a sunflower as a symbol of his solidarity to decriminalise sex work.
Since then, the Asijiki Coalition has taken forward an annual campaign calling on the now President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to keep his promise and the sunflower has become the symbol of sex workers and their allies to rally around to push for law reform and to show the evidence that decriminalisation is the only legal option that can guarantee sex workers’ their rights and their protections.
In March 2019 President Ramaphosa committed to the decriminalisation of sex work at the signing of the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Declaration. The President said he “will work with all relevant stakeholders to develop policy around the decriminalisation of sex work.
For many sex workers however, the #SexWorkPromise is already too late.
On Monday, 8 August 2022, we will be visiting the sites where Robyn Montsumi and Nokuphila Kumalo died 5 km and 7 years apart.
In 2013, Nokuphila was violently murdered in Woodstock and in 2020, Robyn’s body was found in a cell at Mowbray Police Station. Nokhuphila’s murderer is serving an 18-year prison sentence while we still do not know the circumstances around Robyn’s death.
Criminalisation killls. While we can only go to a few places, we remember and honour every sex worker we have lost.
Please join us.
For more information, you can contact:
Constance Mathe on 078 004 2241 or Megan Lessing on 067 783 1383