President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to unite against violence against women and children following a spate of incidents which shocked the nation recently.
“We are outraged and seriously concerned about the reports of the abuse and killing of women and children in some parts of the country. We are especially extremely concerned that in most cases, these attacks occur in the hands of family members or in the case of women, their intimate partners.
“The nation must forge a united front with the law enforcement authorities, government and all sectors of society in fighting this appalling scourge and isolate these criminals in society but within the ambit of the law,” Zuma said.
The President reiterated that violence against women had been declared a priority crime by government. “Many perpetrators were being caught and are given long jail terms because of the cooperation of the public by coming forward with information.”
He urged victims of violence not to be intimidated and to report the perpetrators to the police to ensure that the law took its course.
“Victims should not turn a blind eye to violence in their intimate relationships, at home work or at school, but should immediately report perpetrators’ incidents to authorities before such abuse intensifies and leads to murder,” said Zuma.
Zuma also urged the public to join government in eradicating the crime of human trafficking, particularly the trafficking of young girls, which was growing, not only in South Africa but across the globe.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery. It is a gross violation of human rights and is a very serious crime and should be prevented at all costs. We call on community members who have information or any knowledge of such activities to report perpetrators to the police. Let us protect our girls,” he said.
“Government will continue to raise awareness to educate and sensitise communities on the effects of human trafficking. We must unite in fighting these scourges and attacks on the most vulnerable members of our society, our women and children.”
Victims of abuse were urged to use the 24-hour toll-free number 0800 428 428 to seek help.
– African News Agency (ANA)