Ramaphosa responds to SA's outcry: 'We will act firmly against femicide and violence'

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called the spate of murders, kidnapping and violence perpetrated against women a "national crisis" which has left him horrified.

Ramaphosa was reacting to the most recent cases of women murdered this past week that have shocked and angered the nation.

South African boxing champion Leighandre Jegels was shot and killed by her police officer boyfriend last week; Uyinene Mrwetyana was allegedly attacked, raped and murdered by a Post Office employee in Cape Town.

The man arrested in connection with Mrwetyana's disappearance and subsequent death appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The estranged police officer boyfriend of female boxing champion Jegels died in hospital, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Ramaphosa also expressed his relief that six-year-old Amy-Leigh de Jager, the Grade R pupil who was kidnapped in front of Laerskool Kollegepark in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, had been returned home safely.

Various people, including the DA, started questioning where the president had been in the midst of the rate at which women are being killed.

On Tuesday, his office released a statement that he followed up with a video thread on his official Twitter account.

"This is a national crisis," Ramaphosa began. "Gender-based violence has become a huge crisis and it's something we have to address now."

Of Mrwetyana's case, he said he was "deeply concerned" it had happened at a government institution. It recently emerged the employee had a criminal record.

Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has ordered a probe into how the man was kept in the employ of the facility.

Ramaphosa then made a clarion call to "the men of South Africa to stand up one by one and declare that we have got to bring an end to the scourge of killing young women and women in our country".

"There need to be respect shown to the women of our country."

The president also assured South Africans the criminal justice system would up its efforts to make sure perpetrators of gender-based violence faced the full might of the law.

"This is unacceptable," he said.

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