President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated that gender-based violence, especially directed at women, has no place any place in South African society.
“It should have no place in our homes, work places, churches, schools and on the streets of our townships, on the pathways of our villages and also in our cities and towns,” Ramaphosa said on Thursday, 28 March 2019.
The president was speaking at the official opening of Booysens Magistrate Court and the signing of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Declaration in Johannesburg.
Booysens Court comprises ten courts, including four district courts, civil court, family court, equality children’s court, and children’s court enquiries as well as two regional courts for criminal and sexual offences.
The declaration was borne out of the National Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Summit held in November 2018 in an effort to find solutions to GBV and femicide.
Addressing stakeholders and members of civil society, Ramaphosa said the summit had opened the eyes and ears, and even the hearts, of many people to the gravity and impact of GBV in the country.
“We have heard the pleas of survivors of gender-based violence to be treated with respect by our criminal justice system. In opening this new sexual offences court in Booysens, we are affirming the right of the women and girls of this country to be treated with professionalism and empathy,” Ramaphosa said.
He noted that the opening of the court and the declaration against gender-based violence and femicide are “two of the measures we have put in place since the Presidential Summit convened in November last year.”