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Ramaphosa: Perpetrators of women abuse must serve long sentences

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa spoke out against gender-based violence in the wake of the murders of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana and boxing champion Leighandre Jegels, among other women.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed that government would do everything in its power to ensure the country’s criminal justice system protected women.

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa spoke out against gender-based violence in the wake of the murders of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana and boxing champion Leighandre Jegels, among other women.

Hundreds and thousands of people have since added their voice to petitions, calling for tougher sentences for those who commit crimes against women.

Marches have also been planned in various parts of the country.

Ramaphosa said government would increase efforts to ensure that women were safe.

“Our criminal justice system must now gear up and ensure the perpetrators of these acts are brought to book and serve long sentences in prison.”

Meanwhile, Social Development Deputy Minister Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu has conceded that government may have delayed implementing systems to address the scourge of woman abuse in the country.

Mogopane-Zulu spoke to Eyewitness News on the sidelines of a new initiative by People Opposing Women Abuse, aimed at curbing domestic violence in Fourways on Tuesday.

Bogopane-Zulu said while government had put systems in place to address the scourge of women abuse in the country, action should have been taken much sooner.

At the same time, activist Osie Motene has echoed calls for women abusers to be named and shamed.

Several protests have been held at universities, with plans of national shutdown on Friday.

While the Am I Next movement has gained national support, South Africans have also been signing petitions aimed at ending the scourge of violence against women.

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