CAPE TOWN,  November 25 (ANA) – Violence against women was both a shame on South Africa and a betrayal of African values, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday as he launched the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children in Lephale in Limpopo…

“This crisis of violence against women and children is a great shame on our nation,” Ramaphosa said.

“It goes against our African values and everything we stand for as a people. We grew up being taught that as men and boys we must respect women and protect children. We were taught to never, ever raise your hand against a woman. But we have lost our way,” he added.

He then proceeded to list a the names of six-year-old Boitumelo Matsekoleng from Serageng village, who was raped and killed last month, 11-year-old Thandi Mampane from Ga-Marishane village who was abducted and killed and Mphephu Sophie Vukeya, 59, from Muswana village, who was attacked while collecting firewood and who died in hospital in June after being raped and beaten.

He said their attackers had no regard for human life, and abused children and grandmothers, boys and girls.

“We are here today to unite under the theme: ‘Enough is Enough.’ Because we have truly had enough.”

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Ramaphosa said the emergency action plan the government launched in September, when there were protests against femicide at Parliament, with R1.6 billion in reprioritised funding, was being implemented successfully.

The plan aims to implement behaviour change campaigns, strengthen the criminal justice system, create more economic opportunities for women and improve access to justice for victims, it includes reforms of existing laws around bail and sentencing for perpetrators of gender-based violence, which the president said was underway.

Weekly briefings

Ramaphosa, who said he received weekly briefings on progress in rolling out the plan, said some of the work done since September included plans to open three more Thuthuzela Care Centres for victims and restoring four properties in Pretoria that will open as shelters in the first week of December.

In Eastern Cape, a “100-day rapid results approach” has been implemented to process cases of violence against women, and it will also be piloted in North West and Limpopo.

In January, Ramaphosa added, a tracking mechanism will be introduced to clear backlogs at forensic laboratories on gender-based violence cases.

“National and provincial 24-hour call centres to deal with complaints against [SA Police Service] SAPS and legal officers in matters of gender-based violence are up and running, and we have achieved our target of attending to all complaints within seven days,” he said.

The police have consigned 321 recruits to undergoing basic training in child protection units and trained nearly 4,500 of its members on providing services to survivors of gender-based violence.

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SAPS Emergency Services 10111
Toll-free Crime Stop number 086 00 10111
GBV Command Centre Contact the 24-hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre toll-free number 0800 428 428 to report abuse
STOP Gender Violence Helpline Tel: 0800 150 150/ *120*7867#
South African Police Service Report all cases of rape, sexual assault or any form of violence to a local police station or call the toll-free Crime Stop number: 086 00 10111
Legal Aid South Africa Call the toll-free Legal Aid Advice Line 0800110 110 for free legal aid if you cannot afford one
Commission for Gender Equality Report Gender Discrimination and Abuse: 0800 007 709
South African Human Rights Commission Call 011 877 3600 to lodge a complaint about human rights violations.
Domestic violence Helpline Stop Women Abuse: 0800 150 150
AIDS Helpline 0800 012 322
The Warrior Project FREE legal helpline for victims of domestic abuse: 0860 333 353
People Opposed to Woman Abuse(Powa), Tel: 011 642 4345
Child Welfare South Africa, Tel: 074 080 8315
Childline South Africa, Tel: 0800 055 555
Families South Africa (Famsa), Tel: 011 975 7106/7
Tears Foundation, Free SMS helpline: *134*7355#, Tel: 010 590 5920
The Trauma Centre, Tel: 021 465 7373
Thuthuzela Care Centres

Author: ANA Newswire