_: The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Lulu Xingwana, has welcomed the two life sentences passed by Judge Selby Baqwa of North Gauteng High Court on a Mpumalanga man who strangled and raped his 92 year-old grandmother.
We are on record calling on our courts to impose the heaviest possible punishment to anyone found guilty of child or women abuse. By imposing harsher sentences, our courts will be sending a clear message to all perpetrators that the abuse of women and children will never be tolerated by our democratic society.
This sentence will go a long way in promoting the fight against women and children. We believe that the judiciary remains a critical component of the fight against gender-based violence. Judge Baqwa has sent a clear message that our courts have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable sectors of our populations and that it will act firmly and harshly against abusers and murderers. We are confident that all our judges will continue to send this message through their sentencing.
The rape, murder and abuse of the elderly has become a sore spot in our democratic society. Incidents such as these remind the nation about the devastating effects of the scourge of gender-based violence and the deteriorating moral fibre of society. The challenge that faces all of us is to focus on moral regeneration so that we can collectively build a society where men and boys respect the lives and dignity of girls and women.
We are also confident that the strengthening of law enforcement measures, particularly the re-establishment of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units within the South African Police Service (SAPS) as announced by Minister Nathi Mthethwa will assist in turning the tide against these crimes.