Gender violence

Hundreds of people gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday in protest against growing gender-based violence.

Organized by student organizations and civil groups, the protesters urged the government to take concrete steps to end gender-based violence.

“We’re fed up with empty talks by politicians,” said Andrew Louis, a Cape Town University student.

Many protesters said they support the reinstatement of death penalty scrapped by Nelson Mandela when he became president in 1994.

Hayden Crysto, a middle school teacher, said convicted rapists must be punished harshly, but unfortunately South African laws are too lenient.

Police Minister Bheki Cele was at the scene to listen to the demands raised by the protesters.

“Young people we understand your anger,” he said to the crowd but was booed by the protesters.

Mamokgethi Phakeng, a student leader from the Cape Town University, said South Africans voted for liberation but it seems like citizens entered another form of bondage.

Politicians must show strong leadership in hard times, said Phakeng.

South Africans have been shocked by violent murders of several women and girls in recent days, including 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana, a Cape Town University Student, Leighandre Jegels, South African boxing champion, and 14-year-old Janika Mallo, whose body was found in her grandmother’s back yard in Cape Town after being raped and murdered.

All the murders happened in August as South Africans celebrated the Women’s Month dedicated to the protection of women.

There were many other women and girls who have become victims of gender-based violence in South Africa, according to the United Nations in South Africa.

The South African government on Tuesday declared September 8 as the Day of Prayer for women and girls who were murdered in the latest spate of gender-based violence.

A moment of silence will be observed on the day in honor of the victims. Enditem

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