Castration for convicted rapists? ANCWL again calls for discussion

(File)
(File)

The ANC Women's League has proposed drastic measures to eliminate the scourge of gender-based violence.

It also criticised the government for its lukewarm attitude toward the prevailing problem.

On Tuesday night, the league held a media briefing following the rape and murder of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

Its secretary-general, Meokgo Matuba, said the league was intensifying its efforts to find solutions.

Mathuba added it wanted an investigation to be launched into changing existing legislation to allow for chemical castration as a punishment.

The league made a similar call in October 2018, following the arrest of a man accused of the rape of a seven-year-old girl at a Dros restaurant in Pretoria, and the arrest of a teen accused of raping a child in Blikkiesdorp, Cape Town, News24 reported.

Matuba said it was calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a state of emergency and amend the prosecution and sentencing of offenders on matters relating to gender-based violence.

Matuba added the ANC should adopt a programme of action and ensure law enforcement accounted for unsolved cases.

The league also believed harsher sentences should be handed out by the judiciary.

"The nature of the attacks on women speak of hatred that is tantamount to racism. This is not random acts of crime targeting women, therefore this must be treated with the contempt it deserves. Our government is lukewarm and gives perpetrators a slap on the wrist for killing and raping women."

Matuba said bail should not be given to those accused of gender-based violence, adding people convicted of rape and murder should be given life sentences at maximum correctional centres without the possibility of parole.

League president Bathabile Dlamini said it was calling on all women to make Wednesday a day of mourning by dressing in black and wearing head wraps.

She added women should stage stay-aways at places of work on Monday as a sign of protest against the scourge.

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