India rape death strikes chord in SA

2012-12-30 10:01
Zwelinzima Vavi (File, Sapa)

Zwelinzima Vavi (File, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Zuma Exposed
    This book exposes Jacob Zuma, in such a way that he would not want you or anyone else to read it. Now R189.00
    buy now
Johannesburg - The death of a young Indian woman who suffered organ failure after being gang raped reverberated beyond Asia on Saturday to South Africa, a country battling its own epidemic levels of sexual violence.

News of the 23-year-old's tragic death in a Singapore hospital where she had been taken for treatment prompted a groundswell of anger and a good deal of introspection about why South Africa persistently has some of the highest incidences of rape in world.

Official statistics show there were almost 65 000 sexual offences in South Africa last year, but police estimate only one in 36 rape cases is reported.

Based on those figures it is possible 2.3 million South Africans were victims of sexual offences, out of a total population of 50 million.

So South Africa is all too able to empathise with the victims of horrendous acts of sexual violence. In addition it also has a large Indian population.

But events in Delhi and Singapore appear to have struck a painful chord in large part because of the subsequent protests in India, which raised difficult questions about whether South Africans were doing enough to come to terms with their own crisis.

Good men

"Here rapists attack everyone - from babies up to grannies and we sit and do nothing. A revolution is taking place in India," said commentator Pinky Khoabane.

"We need the good men to stand up," Khoabane said, decrying what she said was systemic pattern of femicide.

An estimated 28% of South African men have committed rape, according to data from the Medical Research Council of South Africa and the International Centre for Research on Women.

That compares to 24% of Indian men according to the same data.

South Africa often appears to have become accustomed to levels of sexual violence that would be considered intolerable in other countries.

In November six village boys, including one aged 10, were charged with rape and the murder of three other children, in a case that hardly made the newspapers.

Poor victims

President Jacob Zuma's rape trial - at which he was acquitted - and the filmed gang rape of a 17-year-old girl with a mental age of four were notable exceptions, and both sparked a national debate.

But analysts say that the general resignation about sexual violence has partly to do with who the victims are.

Based on statistics from Gauteng - which encompasses Johannesburg and Pretoria - researchers have shown that almost 89% of reported rapes involve black women, who are predominantly poor.

Around 58% of the victims were unemployed and 15% were under the age of 11, according to figures published in the journal Crime Quarterly.

The same data showed 16% of reported rape cases in South Africa involve gang rape.

In a heated Twitter debate on Saturday Zwelinzima Vavi, head of the union umbrella group Cosatu - which is part of the ANC-led tripartite alliance that governs the country - angrily dismissed claims sexual violence was caused by poverty or apartheid.

No excuse for moral degeneration

"No one can tell me that raping a three-month-[old] baby or 87-year-old granny or burning a library or vandalising a school is caused by poverty," he wrote.

"Poverty can't lead to an erection when seeing a 90-year or three-month-old."

"Yes, apartheid humiliated, dehumanised and made people feel valueless - its existence in the past is no excuse for current moral degeneration," he added.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  zwelinzima vavi
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
86 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mercury has moved into Libra which adds a more social energy to the way you can communicate and connect things. Today is about...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.