A man from Kwazulu Natal began a 10-day 224 km walk from his rural home to the city of Durban on Wednesday.
The 44-year-old Jan Mabuyakhulu, a community activist, is a campaigner for social justice. He is campaigning against all forms of abuse against women and children as well as calling for an end to the use of drugs in the country.
It’s the second time that Jan ‘The Walker’ Mabuyakhulu, from Durban, will make the mammoth journey. He first completed it in 2013.
In the same year, he sauntered into fame by walking from Johannesburg to Cape Town in three months and two weeks.
In February 2013, two teenage girls were raped and killed by two men in separate incidents in Jozini’s Gedleza area in far northern KwaZulu-Natal. Their bodies were found in some bushes.
The perpetrators pleaded guilty and were convicted and sentenced for their crimes. The girls were on their way home from school when they met their fate.
Mabuyakhulu attended the same church as one of the teenagers’ mothers. He says he noticed the unbearable pain of the teenager’s mother as she would often collapse during the service. This led to his road campaign for justice.
Previously Mabuyakhulu has had narrow escapes with trucks on the road and has on occasion been forced to seek refuge in old buildings and bushes on the side of the road
This week, armed with just R170, a bag and a flag emblazoned with anti-abuse and pro-social justice messages, Mabuyakhulu has set off.
He is also aiming to stop the use of drugs in schools. The unemployed father of five says reports of abuse of women and children reflect badly on men.
He urged the public to join him on the road and fight for the good cause. He says as long as women and children continue to suffer and remain the victims of violence, he will be on the road fighting for them.
“My main aim for this walk is to fight against all forms of violence directed to women and children. I am also saying we must do away with drugs. There’s a growing number of school children who are now hooked on drugs. I am also walking to demystify the perception that once you sleep with a young virgin girl you get cured of HIV/AIDS. That’s totally not true.”
He expected to complete his journey next week.