Abuse denies birthright - Xingwana
Johannesburg - Child and women abuse denies those affected their birthrights, said Women and Children's Minister Lulu Xingwana.
"The scourge of child and women abuse threatens to erode many of the hard-earned gains of the liberation struggle," she said at a sod-turning ceremony of the Masego Kgomo memorial park in Soshanguve, Pretoria.
She questioned whether it could be that human beings, and specifically South Africans, had regressed to a point where society has turned into something worse than a jungle.
She said the government remained concerned that the combined figures of all sexual offences, including rape and indecent assault, had increased by 2.1% in 2010/11 compared to 2009/2010.
Xingwana noted that women murder cases had increased by 5.6% and sexual offences against children were up by 2.6% during this period.
"The government was confident that the strengthening of law enforcement measures, particularly the re-establishment of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units within the police would assist in turning the tide against these crimes.
"Abuse could not be fought with laws and policies alone, but with the help of citizens too," she said.
"We are here to make a clear and unambiguous statement that the barbaric actions of child and women abusers have no place in our free and democratic society."