Pretoria: The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities has urged the courts to ensure that those responsible for the rape and murder of Anene Booysen face the full might of the law. “We have absolute confidence that the alleged rapists and murderers of Anene Booysen will face the full might of the law. It is important that perpetrators of abuse crimes should be put behind bars.
“We continue to call on our courts to impose the harshest possible punishment against those found guilty of crimes against women and children… Violence against women cannot be tolerated in our free and democratic society. It is a gross violation of the constitutional rights of women,” said the department in a statement on Friday.
It urged South African communities to stand together and help law enforcement agencies to stop crimes against women in the country, saying such incidents were a “painful reminder of the disregard for human life and human dignity”.
“Many of these cases point to a deterioration of the moral fibre of our society. We urge members of our communities to join hands with government in order to help defeat the scourge of child and women abuse.
“We urge all South Africans to join this fight. When we know that someone is being abused in our own home or in our neighbour’s house, we have a duty to report it. The key message to every member of the community is: ‘Don’t look away. Act against abuse’.”
On 10 December 2012, government launched the National Council against Gender-Based Violence, led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. The department said it was confident that the work of the council would lead to a significant reduction in the incidents of violence against women and children.
“The council is a multi-sectoral structure capable of providing authoritative leadership as we collectively confront violence against women and children. “The seriousness with which government views gender-based violence and its impact on individuals, communities and society has been the driving force behind the establishment of the National Council against Gender-based Violence,” it said.