Pretoria: A South African woman minister has expressed concern at reports of heinous acts of sexual violence against children.
"We have noted with serious concern the report of a six-week-old baby raped by an uncle, a four-year-old boy raped by a 17-year-old teenager, the rape of an elderly woman while fetching firewood and the rape and murder of a child in the Western Cape," Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana was quoted as saying by government news agency SA News.
"These perpetrators are preying on the defenceless members of our society - older women and children. These acts can only be committed by very sick people.
"We therefore appeal to government institutions, community leaders, counsellors etc., to strengthen our support for the victims and their families at this trying time," the minister said Friday.
"As government, we will ensure that we leave no stone unturned to ensure that these perpetrators get no bail whilst awaiting trial and are given harsher sentences. These crimes will under no circumstances be tolerated and this is totally unacceptable," said Xingwana.
She commended the police for the arrests of the perpetrators and further commended communities for their calmness and for allowing the law to take its course.