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Shut down the country! Protesters try to storm WEF Africa event

A growing group of demonstrators charged towards the doors of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where the World Economic Forum on Africa is under way.

Anti-gender violence protesters at the CTICC in Cape Town where the WEF Africa event is being held on 4 September 2019. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A growing group of demonstrators charged towards the doors of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where the World Economic Forum is under way.

Earlier a smaller group had held a silent protest against gender-based violence, calling for a state of emergency to be declared in South Africa.

Escalating violence against women and children prompted South Africans from all walks of life to take a stance and call for more decisive action from the government.

With chants of "we want a state of emergency," "how many more" and "shut down the country", demonstrators protested outside the CTICC, criticising government's sluggish attempts to end violence against women.

Presidential special advisor on gender-based violence, Dr Olive Shisana, stepped out to address the furious and emotional crowd. She said government would prepare a strategic plan to address gender-based violence.

"Our team is still going around the country where we are consulting women on the strategy to fight gender-based violence. We cannot develop it within the Presidency without involving women all around the country."

Protesters, however, did not entertain her and moved on to Parliament.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to lead a top-level delegation to the economic forum to pitch South Africa as an investment destination.

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