In his weekly letter from the President’s Desk, President Cyril Ramaphosa says government’s Emergency Action Plan to deal with the scourge of gender based violence is being implemented and is beginning to bear fruit.

He has welcomed the three life sentences handed down to the rapist and murderer of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

Ramaphosa said the life sentences serve the cause of justice and must act as a deterrent to men who rape and kill women.

The President said South Africa has recently seen an increase of violence against women with the killing of Uyinene Mrwetyana sending shockwaves to the nation.

In October President Ramaphosa announced the Emergency Action Plan to deal with the scourge of gender based violence.

He reports that he has been given weekly reports on the implementation of the plan. The R1.6 billion plan aims to improve access to justice for survivors of violence.

President Ramaphosa said they are on the track to achieve the target of establishing 11 more sexual offences courts by the end of the current financial year. He also says government employees who work with children and mentally disabled persons are being vetted against the National Register of Sex Offenders.

He says so far over 1 200 officials including police officers and prosecutors have been vetted.

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