South Africa: Ramaphosa Responds to SA's Cry - Gender-Based Violence Is a National Crisis

Demonstrators protesting violence against women and demanding to see President Cyril Ramaphosa clash with police outside the Cape Town Convention Centre where the World Economic Forum on Africa summit is being held.
3 September 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called the spate of murders, kidnapping and violence perpetrated against women a "national crisis" which has left him horrified.

Ramaphosa was reacting to the most recent cases of women murdered this past week that have shocked and angered the nation.

South African boxing champion Leighandre Jegels was shot and killed by her police officer boyfriend last week; Uyinene Mrwetyana was allegedly attacked, raped and murdered by a Post Office employee in Cape Town.

The man arrested in connection with Mrwetyana's disappearance and subsequent death appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The estranged police officer boyfriend of female boxing champion Jegels died in hospital, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Ramaphosa also expressed his relief that six-year-old Amy-Leigh de Jager, the Grade R pupil who was kidnapped in front of Laerskool Kollegepark in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, had been returned home safely.

Our security forces are on high alert. Whilst in no way, can we take away the sense of deep loss and unbearable pain you experience, as a country we commit ourselves to continue to work tirelessly to building the kind of South Africa, where indeed womxn and children will be safe. pic.twitter.com/ZoQSziiuPM

-- Cyril Ramaphosa ???? (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 3, 2019

Various people, including the DA, started questioning where the president had been in the midst of the rate at which women are being killed.

On Tuesday, his office released a statement that he followed up with a video thread on his official Twitter account.

Overwhelmingly what we need is strengthened accountability and bold leadership that says we will not tolerate femicide and violence, we will act firmly against it and we will consciously invest in rebuilding our social fabric in ways that align...

-- Cyril Ramaphosa ???? (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 3, 2019

"This is a national crisis," Ramaphosa began. "Gender-based violence has become a huge crisis and it's something we have to address now."

Of Mrwetyana's case, he said he was "deeply concerned" it had happened at a government institution. It recently emerged the employee had a criminal record.

... with the values of human dignity, equality, respect and freedom in our Constitution. We will rebuild our social fabric through preventing violence from happening and meaningfully addressing toxic attitudes and discrimination towards all womxn -

-- Cyril Ramaphosa ???? (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 3, 2019

Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has ordered a probe into how the man was kept in the employ of the facility.

Ramaphosa then made a clarion call to "the men of South Africa to stand up one by one and declare that we have got to bring an end to the scourge of killing young women and women in our country".

"There need to be respect shown to the women of our country."

The president also assured South Africans the criminal justice system would up its efforts to make sure perpetrators of gender-based violence faced the full might of the law.

"This is unacceptable," he said. "The vehicle, as well as the dagga, was seized for further investigation."

Source: News24

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