Pretoria: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on Monday added its voice to the national call for South Africans to get involved and take a firm stand against rape and all forms of violence against women and children.
Staff members took to the streets of Pretoria in a move aimed at increasing awareness amongst the community about the scourge of rape.
Carrying placards with messages such as ‘No means no’, ‘Say no to rape’, ‘Real men don’t rape’, ‘Don’t look away: report and act against rape’, staff members interacted with the public, handing out pamphlets with various toll free helpline numbers.
Acting GCIS CEO Phumla Williams said the campaign was aimed at encouraging members of the public to unite against rape and abuse.
“We are calling on society to be active participants and unite against the abuse of women. Government alone cannot do it,” she said ahead of the awareness campaign.
The pamphlets also had information on steps individuals and communities should take to protect themselves, and Crime Stop and Childline contact numbers, among others.
“As the GCIS, we want to empower the public with the information … We want everybody to be part of the campaign,” Williams said.
She emphasised the need to empower people in the rural areas, saying they must be better equipped to report incidences of rape.
“We want to encourage people to fight the scourge of rape.”
The campaign’s message resonated with members of the public.
Lillian Raophala (25), a student in one of the colleges in the Pretoria city centre, said she fully supported the campaign.
“Women should be free and they must report incidences of rape,” she said.
Thabang Phago from Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, said rape should not be tolerated.
“As men, we need to unite against such acts,” he said.
The campaign was triggered by recent rape cases, the most recent being that of Anene Booysen (17), who was raped and mutilated in Bredasdorp in the Western Cape.
She was found at a construction site on Saturday, 2 February, left for dead by her attackers. She died later that day from her injuries.
One of Booysen’s alleged killers appeared before the Bredasdorp Magistrate’s Court today.
Three people, all from Bredasdorp, have been arrested in connection with Booysen’s death.
Booysen was buried at the weekend.