South Africa’s tragic start to Women’s Month


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa believes stringent legislation alone is insufficient to address the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa.

The president said government and society at large must work together to address what he lamented as a deep-rooted societal problem.

“It is not enough for perpetrators to be apprehended, tried, convicted and sentenced,” Ramaphosa stated in his weekly letter.

He added, “Eradicating gender-based violence demands that we act together as a people.”

Ramaphosa’s letter coincided with the commencement of Women’s Month (August).

This comes on the back of rising incident of rape, including last Thursday when armed assailants gang raped eight women shooting a music video at a disused mine near Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.

Ramaphosa called for the promotion of positive attitudes around gender equality in communities, places of worship and homes.

“As men, we should demonstrate our intolerance to sexism, patriarchy and gender-based violence in how we treat our partners, colleagues, mothers, sisters and daughters,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said just as gender-based violence is all of society’s problem, it is all of society’s responsibility to bring it to an end.

According to a new legal provision that came into effect on July 31, South Africans have a legal duty to report to authorities when they have “knowledge, reasonable belief or suspicion that a sexual offence has been committed against a vulnerable person.”

It is now a crime not to report such a sexual offence.

This is part of one of three laws Ramaphosa signed earlier this year.

Among other things, the laws expand the scope of the National Register of Sex Offenders, strengthen the vetting process, and introduce additional categories of sex offences.

“We have made a start, but as the terrible crimes in Krugersdorp remind us, we need to do much more and we need to act with greater urgency and purpose,” Ramaphosa concluded.

– CAJ News



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