South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has used the launch of the African National Congress’s election manifesto to call for an end to the country’s appalling rape crisis.
About 40,000 rapes are reported in South Africa every year, according to fact checking organisation Africa Check, but the actual number is thought to be much higher. That is an average of 110 rapes each day.
“We have made huge strides in improving the position of women in society … however, gender-based violence is a national crisis that we are determined to end, so that all South African women and girls may live in peace, safety and dignity,” Mr Ramaphosa said.
“The emancipation of women requires a change in attitudes, and the material conditions that perpetuate the oppression and marginalization of women.”
Members of the ruling ANC gathered at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday to celebrate the 107th anniversary of the party, and hear Mr Ramaphosa deliver its manifesto ahead of elections set for May.
Mr Ramaphosa called for better skilled police and prosecution authorities to “improve the capacity to investigate and prosecute all crimes”. He also encouraged harsher sentences for perpetrators of gender-based violence. “It is important that children learn from a young age to respect one another as equals, and not to resort to violence in situations of stress and conflict