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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tackles gender-based violence

By Ashok Ramsarup :: The global 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence (GBV) has kicked off in South Africa in the hope of getting the lawmakers to act swiftly on offenders.

Rights groups are sick and tired of promises and demanding that the government act boldly to act on the scourge of attacks on women and children.

Speaking at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence in Limpopo which is a South African province bordering Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the crisis of violence against women and children was a great shame on the nation.

President Ramaphosa said the attacks on women and children go against the African values, alluding to the fact they were taught to “never, ever raise one’s hand against a woman.”

He said the government launched an Emergency Action Plan in a bid to stamp out violence on women and children.

In support of the UNiTE campaign, under the leadership of the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called for global action to increase awareness, share knowledge and encourage advocacy efforts to end violence against women by 2030.

Echoing the sentiments of the UN chief, Ramaphosa said communities were in the grip of violence against those supposed to be protected. “As I stand before you, I invoke the memories of the many women and girls in the country who suffered from the brutality of men.

“Government spending has been re-prioritised towards the emergency action plan to improve access to justice for survivors, prevention campaigns to change attitudes and behavioural patterns, measures to strengthen the criminal justice system, and the creation of economic opportunities for women who are vulnerable to abuse,” he said.

Ramaphosa urged people to unite under the theme: “Enough is Enough.”  He said: “They heard the calls by our communities, including the people of Lephalale, for government to do more to end gender-based violence.

“The government opened a new Sexual Offences Court in Limpopo and 11 regional courts all provinces have been identified for an upgrade. In addition, new CCTV systems to allow survivors to testify in privacy have been upgraded at 38 regional courts,” commented Ramaphosa.

According to the latest details, 7 000 rape evidence collection kits have been distributed to police stations in the country.  Meanwhile, the South African Police Service has allocated 312 new recruits who are undergoing basic training to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units.

Ashok Ramsarup is award-winning senior journalist of South Africa 🇿🇦

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