MPs ashamed of recent spate of rapes

MPs described a recent spate of violent rapes against women and children as "the shame of the nation."

The 37-year-old man accused of raping a Soweto teen. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday described a recent spate of violent rapes against women and children as "the shame of the nation."

They were participating in debate related to the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities' budget vote.

Minister Lulu Xingwana also called for harsher punishment to be meted out to perpetrators of such atrocities.

Over the past few weeks child rapes, some involving physically and mentally challenged children, have shocked the nation.

MPs, including the Democratic Alliance's Helen Lamoela, were troubled by the incidents.

"The recent of a brutal gang-rape of a young mentally-disabled girl in Soweto sent a shockwave throughout our country. As a nation, we all feeling ashamed."

Xingwana said she was engaging with the Justice Ministry about the issue.

"We should send a clear message that our society will not tolerate people who commit these atrocities."

Following the Soweto rape, a woman and teenage girl, were arrested for allegedly raping a mentally-challenged boy.

In a separate incident, a 20-year-old was arrested for raping a mentally-challenged teenager in the Eastern Cape.