South Africa violence against women ‘like a war’, says Ramaphosa


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says urgent action is needed to tackle gender-based violence in the country. At an emergency sitting of parliament, Mr Ramaphosa said figures of violence against women and children were similar to those of a country at war.

Some 2,700 women and 1,000 children were murdered by men last year and at least 100 rapes were reported daily. The spike in violence against women has ignited protests in many parts of the country. Mr Ramaphosa pledged $75m (£60m) for measures including public education, strengthening the criminal justice system, increasing sentences for perpetrators of sexual offences and providing better care for victims.

The plan also includes measures to improve women’s economic power. Murders recorded by the police have been rising every year for the last decade, and sexual offences including rape have risen 4.6% this year.

Mr Ramaphosa also addressed the recent xenophobic attacks which gripped parts of Johannesburg a few days ago and acknowledged that South Africa was facing a serious crisis of violence and intolerance. He said a fact finding mission led by two former African heads of state would investigate the causes of recent violent attacks in the country.(BBC)…[+]