Ramaphosa calls on young men to take a stand against gender-based violence

15 June 2020 - 18:23 By aphiwe deklerk
President Cyril Ramaphosa wants young people to help eradicate the scourge of gender-based violence.
President Cyril Ramaphosa wants young people to help eradicate the scourge of gender-based violence.
Image: TimesLIVE

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on young people to be at the forefront of the fight against gender-based violence in SA.

Addressing a virtual ANC alliance Youth Day event, he called on young people to draw on their reserves of courage, commitment and bravery to take up the fight.

Gender-based violence continues to plague our country and we have been saddened by the continuous ... news of men attacking and killing women in the past few weeks,” said Ramaphosa.

Men continue to kill women in the most horrific and barbaric fashion. The women of our country feel unsafe in their homes. They do not feel safe in their workplace as well, at places of worship and even just walking on the streets.”

He said the attacks on women were totally unacceptable and must end.

Young people, and in particular young men, must become even more active in the fight against gender-based violence, in the light of all these barbaric and horrific attacks that are being perpetrated against the women of our country.

He said the government was strengthening laws and support for survivors, which will see increased sentences for perpetrators. Such measures needed a society willing to work together to prevent violent acts aimed at women, he added.

The culture of silence around gender-based violence must also come to an end. Young people, when you know your friends or relatives are victims, be compassionate, listen and offer practical support and do not judge.

Let victims be your guide in how to tackle their situation.”

He said when young people know that friends and relatives are perpetrators, they must speak out.

His message comes amid an uproar in the country over a fresh wave of femicide, brought into sharp focus by the killing of eight-months pregnant Tshegofatso Pule — who was stabbed and left hanging from a tree in Roodepoort, Johannesburg — as well as several other women.  

Earlier, in his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa said he was deeply disturbed by the surge in gender-based violence.

“Like all South Africans, I have been deeply disturbed by a surge over the past few days in the murder of young women at the hands of men. These are shocking acts of inhumanity that have no place in our society,” he said.