Cape Town: South African President Jacob Zuma has ordered law enforcement agencies to prioritise cases of rape and murder against women and children.
He said that the gang rape and murder of teenager Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp showed that a collective approach was needed in the fight against the scourge.
According to news24, the 17-year-old was raped and disembowelled on 1 February, attracting international attention to the abuse and rape of women and girls in South Africa.
During State of the Nation address, Zuma said that the brutality and cruelty meted out to defenceless women is unacceptable and has no place in the country.
He added that the National Council on Gender Based Violence, which was established last year, should make the campaign to fight violence against women an "’everyday campaign’.
According to the report, the council is made up of, among others, NGOs, civil society groups, government and research institutions.
The President said the police’s family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) units were continually being bolstered with increased personnel.
He added that during the last financial year, the units secured over 363 life sentences, with a conviction rate of 73 percent for crimes against women above 18-years-old and 70 percent for crimes against children under 18 years of age, the report said.
Zuma said the implementation of other laws would be prioritized, including the protection from harassment bill. The bill is intended to deal with the harassment of people, mostly women, by stalkers, it added.