SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

12 February 2013

South Africa: SA Urged to Stand Up Against Rape

Photo: GCIS
South Africans Campaigning Against Sexual Violence

The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) has added its voice to the national call for South Africans to get involved and take a firm stand against rape and all forms of violence against women and children.

GCIS staff members took to the streets of Pretoria on Monday in a bid to increase community awareness about the scourge of rape.

Carrying placards with messages such as "No means no", "Say no to rape", "Real men don't rape", "Don't look away: report and act against rape", staff members interacted with the public, handing out pamphlets with toll-free helpline numbers for Crime Stop and Childline, among others.

The pamphlets also had information on steps individuals and communities could take to protect themselves.

"We are calling on society to be active participants and unite against the abuse of women," said acting GCIS CEO Phumla Williams. "Government alone cannot do it."

"As the GCIS, we want to empower the public with the information Â… We want everybody to be part of the campaign."

Williams emphasised the need to empower people in South Africa's rural areas, saying they had to be better equipped to report incidences of rape.

The campaign's message resonated with members of the public. Lillian Raophala (25), a student in one of the colleges in the Pretoria city centre, said she fully supported the campaign.

"Women should be free and they must report incidences of rape," she said.

Thabang Phago from Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, said rape should not be tolerated. "As men, we need to unite against such acts," he said.

The campaign was triggered by recent rape cases, the most recent being that of Anene Booysen (17), who was raped and mutilated in Bredasdorp in the Western Cape.

She was found at a construction site on Saturday, 2 February, left for dead by her attackers. She died later that day from her injuries.

One of Booysen's alleged killers appeared before the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court on Monday. Three people, all from Bredasdorp, have been arrested in connection with Booysen's death.

Booysen was buried at the weekend.

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