• Ms Sisisi Tolashe, minister of Social Development, has expressed outrage over a viral video showing an elderly woman being assaulted by a man identified as Luvo.
  • Tolashe has instructed her department to ensure justice for the victim and called on law enforcement to act swiftly to protect the elderly woman.
  • Highlighting the ongoing issue of elder abuse, she urges communities and authorities to prioritise the safety and well-being of older persons.

Minister of Social Development, Ms Sisisi Tolashe, has expressed shock and dismay at a viral video circulating on social media, which shows an elderly woman being assaulted by a man identified as Luvo. In the distressing footage, the elderly woman is seen being attacked, falling to the floor, and pleading for death over a life of abuse, while the man continues to threaten her.

Minister Tolashe has urgently directed her department to follow up on the incident and ensure that justice is served for the elderly victim. She has also called upon law enforcement agencies to act swiftly based on the information available in the public domain to ensure the woman’s protection.

Despite the government’s efforts to strengthen key legislation and frameworks aimed at protecting older persons, the number of reported abuse cases continues to rise. This troubling trend underscores the need for urgent measures to address and curb the ongoing mistreatment of the elderly.

The Minister highlighted the significant contributions made by older persons to society and emphasised that they deserve care and support from their families, communities, the state, civil society, and private organisations.

This incident is particularly disheartening as it follows closely after World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June, when South Africa joined the global community in raising awareness about the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older persons, and promoting their respect and dignity.

Elder abuse is a serious problem affecting millions worldwide, crossing socio-economic boundaries but remaining an understudied and under-reported issue. Increasing awareness of the specific challenges faced by older persons can help foster a more inclusive and protective environment.

Minister Tolashe urged the public to speak out against the abuse of older persons and to educate themselves about the rights and plight of the elderly, who are vulnerable due to their age. “We need to join hands as families, communities, and society broadly, to ensure older persons are protected, leading to a culture of improved reporting and successful prosecution of abusers,” said Minister Tolashe. She called on all communities to prioritise the safety and well-being of older persons.

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