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'A very dark period for SA’: Ramaphosa breaks silence on attacks on women

There’s been an uproar over the president’s silence in the wake of disturbing developments relating to the unabated rapes and murders of women and children.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has broken his silence over the recent attacks on women, saying it’s a “stain on the conscience of the country”.

There’s been an uproar over the president’s silence in the wake of disturbing developments relating to the unabated rapes and murders of women and children.

“This is a very dark period for us as a country. The assaults, rapes and murders of South African women are a stain on our national conscience,” the president said in a statement.

The anger was sparked by the murders of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana and boxing champion Leighandre Jegels, among other cases.

Ramaphosa said he would be meeting with the police’s top brass on Tuesday afternoon to be briefed on steps being taken to address gender-based violence in the country.

'WOMEN NOT SAFE'

"The murder of these two young women, one at the hands of a stranger and the other killed by a man who was reportedly her boyfriend, remains a stark reminder that the women of South Africa are not safe, either in their homes or in the streets."

Ramaphosa added in his statement that "we should hang our heads in shame".

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba has added his voice to the growing outrage over the ongoing murder of women and girls.

“We pray for the souls of Uyinene Mrwetyana, Jesse Hess, Leighandre Jegels, Janika Mallo, Lynette Volschenk and Meghan Cremer, as well as all the other women we don’t know by name.”

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