17 May 2017

South Africa: Stop Killing Young Women

Photo: Financial Gazette
Rape victim (file photo).

Pretoria — Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza has called on Gautengers to declare an end to the senseless killings of defenceless young women.

The MEC's call follows the second murder of a Soweto woman, Lerato Moloi, 27, from Naledi, who was brutally murdered and her body set alight.

Moloi's remains were discovered by passers-by on the railway track near the Naledi Station not far from her home at the weekend.

"This is a very sad chapter in our history as a nation. We cannot stand when such barbarism rises to take over our lives. We would like to take this opportunity to call upon the people of Gauteng to declare an end to these senseless killings of defenceless young women.

"As government, we will do all in our power to ensure justice and stand by all the victims' families to help them deal with their tragic losses," MEC Mayathula-Khoza said.

She said that the Gauteng Provincial Government has stepped in to assist with the burial cost and psychosocial support for Moloi's family.

The MEC has dispatched a team of social workers today to visit the family to assist them with psychosocial support.

She is also expected to visit the family on Thursday to pay her respects and send condolences to the family.

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday called South Africans to unite against the recent attacks and killing of women and children.

"We are outraged and seriously concerned about the reports of the abuse and killing of women and children in some parts of the country. We are especially extremely concerned that in most cases, these attacks occur in the hands of family members or in the case of women, their intimate partners.

"The nation must forge a united front with the law enforcement authorities, government and all sectors of society in fighting this appalling scourge and isolate these criminals in society but within the ambit of the law," said the President.

The President reiterated that violence against women had been declared a priority crime by government.

"Many perpetrators were being caught and are given long jail terms because of the cooperation of the public by coming forward with information," said President Zuma.

The President has further urged victims of violence not to be intimidated and to report the perpetrators to the police to ensure that the law takes its course.

"Victims should not turn a blind eye to violence in their intimate relationships at home, work or at school. [They] should immediately report perpetrators to authorities before such abuse intensifies and leads to murder," said President Zuma.

President Zuma has further encouraged the victims to call the 24-Hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre hotline run by the Department of Social Development, to report attacks, including those by family members or partners.

The toll-free number is 0800 428 428.

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