Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has called for law enforcement agencies to be a safe space for people to report allegations of gender-based violence.

This follows a recent string of crimes against women – resulting in some Members of Parliament urging President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national emergency, while others are calling for harsher sentences for perpetrators.

Thousands of South Africans have taken to social media – using the #AmINext – to call for criminal justice reform.

More than 400 000 people have signed a petition demanding that the death penalty be reinstated for crimes against women.

Speaking in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Malema says women, subject to gender-based violence, don’t get the necessary assistance from law enforcement agencies.

“The solution to this problems must lie in fixing our public institutions of law enforcement – the police station, prosecutors and judges… Perpetrators of sexual crimes in our country know that women never get any help from the system. Our criminal justice system is most toothless when it comes to dealing with rape… We call on a national emergency on police stations to be radically and urgently reconfigured as safe spaces for the report of sexual crimes.”

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