Horrific crimes in spotlight
Levels of violence must be addressed, ministers say
THE ANC’s peace and stability subcommittee says it is concerned with the callous way women and children are being murdered.
Briefing the media ahead of the party’s policy conference at the end of the month, committee chairperson and Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula described South Africa as an angry society.
She also lamented the recent spate of rapes and killings of women, but said the fact that the victims were willing to open cases with the police meant they have hope in the justice system.
Mapisa-Nqakula said: “There should not be a siege mentality. We should not feel like nothing has been done in terms of legislation. There is all the legislation in South Africa that provides for the protection of women and children.
“We believe the reason women are coming forward is because South African women know their rights; they are empowered; and they understand that it is the responsibility of the state to protect them.
“What we should be worried about is the gruesome nature of the crimes being committed. We have not seen this sort of thing. This is something we have to engage on… The psyche of South Africans… We should be looking at post-1994, when introducing democracy and what systems we put in place to deal with issues of anger.
“Just an ordinary protest march turns into anger and in the process women, children and young people are caught up in that anger. If you say to me ‘we have become a violent’ society, I will say yes. “If a young man is going to rape a woman, he kills her and burns her beyond recognition. There must be something wrong with that. If a man is going to rape a baby and kill her, then there is something wrong with that. We should be talking about South Africans and asking: ‘Are we an angry nation’?”
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha said more emphasis should be placed on looking into underlying drivers that lead men to abuse women.
“From going through parole applications, the kind of person who wants to be released ranges from people who were motivated by superstition, poor gender relations to outright viciousness. We need a multipronged strategy to address this,” Masutha said.
Yes, we have become a violent society