South African president urges swift police action amid growing gender-based violence

Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday urged police to intensify the manhunt for the killer of a female student as the country is haunted by growing gender-based violence.

“We are horrified at yet another killing of an innocent woman, and we are angry, this simply cannot go on,” Ramaphosa said.

He was referring to the murder of Precious Ramabulana, a 19-year-old female student at the Ramokhopha campus of the Capricorn TVET (technical and vocational education and training) College in Limpopo Province .

Precious was brutally murdered on Saturday night in her rented room and her body was discovered the next day. According to a report from the law enforcement authorities, Precious suffered 52 stab wounds during this barbaric attack.

The motive for the crime had not been established and no arrest has been made yet.

Ramaphosa said he has directed Minister of Police Bheki Cele to avail all the necessary resources to support local police in the search for the killer.

The savagery inflicted on this young woman points to a level of depravity that is beyond the comprehensible, Ramaphosa said.

“Whoever committed this brutal act must know that there is no corner for you to hide. You will be found, you will be tried, and you will receive the highest penalty,” the president added.

The news of Precious’s murder shocked the nation where a campaign against gender-based violence, known as 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, is in full swing. Ramaphosa launched the campaign in Lephalale, Limpopo Province on Monday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which falls on November 25.

South Africa has seen a rise in gender-based violence in recent months during which dozens of women have been killed. This has prompted law enforcement agencies to intensify the fight against gender-based violence.

“This week alone our courts have handed down life sentences to three perpetrators convicted of crimes against women and children,” Ramaphosa said.

He said his government is going to make good on its promise to the women of this country that those who are terrorizing them will be removed from society.

According to the 2018/2019 crime statistics, 2,771 women and over 1,000 children were murdered in South Africa. Every day, police received over 100 cases of reported rape. Enditem

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