Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has condemned the raping and murder of women during the national lockdown period.
This follows two reported cases of murder over the past weekend.
A Willowvale woman was found murdered in her home last Friday, with her 18-month-old baby lying next to her. It is reported that the 47-year-old woman was shot in her upper body.
In a separate incident a Grade 9 pupil that attends Aurora Girls' High School from Dobsonville, Soweto, was raped and murdered while running an errand. Her body was found last Friday in a bush at eMndeni Extension in Soweto.
"We are shattered! This is saddening beyond comprehension especially during these trying times. I'm calling for immediate action against perpetrators of GBV. Men must stand up against GBV by saying violence against women and girls is unacceptable," the Minister said.
She said women and girls are currently gripped by fear in their homes.
"South Africa boasts hosts of legislation and policies that affirm the rights of all, including women and gender non-conforming people. These rights do not necessarily translate into reality in the lives of people who still face systemic and endemic forms of violence.
"We must all work tirelessly to deliver for the lives of women and gender-non-conforming people in South Africa today. We cannot continue to live lives that are constantly under siege and where we are not all enjoying the fruits of our Constitutional democracy," Nkoana-Mashabane said.
Government has announced plans to beef up the family violence, children protection and sexual offences units.
Victims can contact 0800 150 150 and 0800 428 428 to report incidents of gender-based violence.
All citizens have been encouraged to ensure that children are cared for and not left unattended during this period. They should also remain vigilant to any suspicious behaviour of neighbours and surroundings.
Any suspected form of abuse or criminal activity can be reported to the South African Police Service Crime Stop number on 0860 10111.