SA needs new approach to combating gender-based violence: Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a joint sitting of the National Assembly to discuss a new approach to combating gender-based violence in the country.

The murder of women in South Africa over recent weeks has ignited public outrage and street protests.

The extent of the gender-based violence was revealed in the crime statistics released on Thursday last week. According to the statistics, a woman is murdered every three hours in South Africa.

A total of 2771, women were murdered in the 12-month period. Ramaphosa was speaking at a women’s dialogue in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape, on Monday.

“Given the extent of this crisis, government has embarked on immediate and concrete action to make a real difference in the lives of the women of our country and I said earlier, we were going to have this session in Parliament on domestic violence and sexual offences, but also prioritising the interests of survivors.”

Ramaphosa has promised that the Eastern Cape will get its own forensic laboratory to fast-track investigations in rape and sexual abuse cases.

He has expressed concern about the high rate of these cases.

“We cannot carry on like this where we know cases of rape and abuse of women are so rife here in this area, and we just carry on as if nothing is happening. So there shall be a laboratory here in the Eastern Cape.”

Ramaphosa says to those who rape and kill women should be given long sentences. “Anybody who rapes a woman actually destroys her life. You have basically sentenced her to death herself because she is going to have to live with the trauma for the rest of her life. So you are basically destroying her life. And in my book and view – if you have raped and killed a woman, you should be put away for life, and life must mean life.”