Ramaphosa visits families of murdered East London women

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the families of Uyinene Mrwetyana, Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels and Angelique Clark-Abrahams in East London on Friday.

Mrwetyana, a UCT student, was raped and murdered at a Cape Town post office last week. Jegels was shot and killed by her estranged police officer boyfriend. Abrahams was attacked in her East London home by a man allegedly known to her, DispatchLive reported.

Speaking at Mrwetyana’s home, Ramaphosa, accompanied by Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, and Cabinet ministers Stella-Ndabeni Abrahams and Ronald Lamola, said "the death of your young daughter and other women in the country is something that has gotten us to look at gender based violence in a way that makes it we have reached a watershed moment", the SA Government News Agency reported.

After a short prayer service, Ramaphosa said the government would work around the clock to implement solutions to the crisis facing South Africa.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Cape Town this week to raise awareness about the plight of women and children in the country. Their protest outside Parliament on Thursday saw Ramaphosa, after addressing the crowd, promise swift solutions.

In an address on Thursday evening, Ramaphosa outlined some measures to deal with violence against women and children, which include harsher sentences, News24 previously reported.

Task team to deal with violence against women

"We have heard the calls of the women of our country. The collective anger, fear and pain must strengthen our resolve to end all forms of violence perpetrated by men," Ramaphosa said.

At the same time, an inter-ministerial committee that will work together with civil society to bring an end to gender-based violence, has been established. 

"This committee will mobilise society as a whole against the phenomenon of gender-based violence, and regularly update Cabinet and the public on its efforts to curb GBV.  The committee will ensure that families and victims of GBV are supported," Cabinet said in a statement.

- Complied by Kamva Somdyala  

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