President urges unity in wake of women, child killings

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma says South Africans must unite against the recent attacks and killing of women and children, as well as human trafficking, after separate gruesome killings of women and children in some parts of the country.

“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,” said the President.

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,” said President Zuma.

The President has further urged victims of violence not to be intimidated and to report the perpetrators to the police to ensure that the law takes its course.

“Victims should not turn a blind eye to violence in their intimate relationships at home, work or at school. [They] should immediately report perpetrators to authorities before such abuse intensifies and leads to murder,” said President Zuma.

President Zuma has further encouraged the victims to call the 24-Hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre hotline run by the Department of Social Development, to report attacks, including those by family members or partners.

The toll-free number is 0800 428 428.

President Zuma has also urged the public to join government in eradicating the crime of human trafficking, particularly the trafficking of young girls, which is growing increasingly 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,” President Zuma said.

To date, government has enacted the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2013 (Act No.7 of 2013), which is aimed at effecting international agreements, which includes the Palermo Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Protocol.

“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,” said the President. –

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