‘We should all hang our heads in shame’ – Ramaphosa responds to violent murders

President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa

3rd September 2019

By: Sashnee Moodley

Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia


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President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday broke his silence following the violent murders of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana and boxing champion Leighandre Jegels and said the country was facing a dark period.

While he commended police for the arrests of the suspects linked to both murders, and sent his condolences to families of the victims, he said the assaults, rapes and murders of women in the country were a stain on our national conscience.

Mrwetyana’s alleged killer was arrested and charged with rape, murder and defeating the ends of justice. The man suspected of killing Jegels was also arrested and has since died in hospital.

In addition to these examples of the horrific violence against women in the country, on Monday, the body of 14-year-old Janika Mallo was found in her grandmother's backyard in Cape Town.

“We have just commemorated Women’s Month. Sixty-three years after the women of 1956 marched for the right to live in freedom, women in this country live in fear - not of the apartheid police but of their brothers, sons, fathers and uncles. We should all hang our heads in shame,” Ramaphosa said.

He added that the murders were a reminder that South African women are not safe in their homes or in the streets.

“In 2019, The Presidency signed the Declaration on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide with various civil society formations and has directed that urgent attention be given to its implementation, particularly on immediate measures around support to victims and access to shelters and places of safety.”

Ramaphosa will meet Police Minister Bheki Cele today to discuss how best to prevent gender-based violence in the country.


Edited by David Shepherd
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