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Ramaphosa condemns surge in gender-based violence

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Ramaphosa condemns surge in gender-based violence

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the surge in murders of women and children in SA, saying it has been “a dark and shameful week for us as a nation”. He on Saturday called on all South Africans to end the culture of silence around gender-based violence and report perpetrators to the police.

This comes as the body of a young woman was found dumped under a tree in Dobsonville, Soweto, on Friday. It also comes amid a chorus of calls for the government to take greater action against gender-based violence. Ramaphosa said that since the country had entered coronavirus alert level 3, there had been a surge in gender-based violence and femicide.

“It is a dark and shameful week for us as a nation. Criminals have descended to even greater depths of cruelty and callousness. It simply cannot continue,” he said. We note with disgust that at a time when the country is facing the gravest of threats from the pandemic, violent men are taking advantage of the eased restrictions on movement to attack women and children.tshegofastso-pule

“As we still struggle to come to terms with the brutality inflicted on Tshegofatso Pule, Naledi Phangindawo, Nompumelelo Tshaka and other women in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal whose bodies were found dumped this week, another woman has lost her life,” Ramaphosa added.

The manner in which these defenceless women were killed pointed to an “unconscionable level of barbarism and lack of humanity”, he said. Tshegofatso Pule, who was eight months pregnant, was found stabbed to death and hanging from a tree in an open veld last week. It is suspected that one of the murdered Eastern Cape women was a victim of a mob killing.

Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal said this week an elderly woman was raped and a child was found dead in a field, and two young women were shot dead.

“According to the SAPS there has been an increase in violent crime, especially murders, since we entered alert level 3. We need to understand what factors are fuelling this terrible trend and, as society as a whole, address them urgently,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said he was deploying ministers and deputy ministers to meet community leaders in all districts around the country as part of national efforts to combat Covid-19. During these visits they would engage with communities on this upsurge in gender-based violence so that everyone could work together to prevent the killing of women.

-SowetanLive

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