Delivering his keynote address at the official launch of 16 Days of Activism Campaign of No Violence Against Women and Children in Limpopo, on Friday, President Jacob Zuma condemned people who abuse women and children in the country.
He also urged South African women not to shy away from laying complaints to relevant authorities whenever their right is abused by anyone.
This year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign is marked under the theme “Count me in; together moving a non-violent South Africa forward”.
Furthermore, the president called on provincial leaders to create rooms for dialogues, in order to provide an opportunity for the government to appraise its own law enforcement and social support machinery – so as to foster relentless support for South African women and children.
Lending weight to his assertion, President Zuma said his government has declared abuse against women a ‘priority crime’.
He said: “Violence against women has been declared a priority crime by government. Women must not be scared to report the perpetrators to the police.”
Other Dignitaries At 6 Days Of Activism Campaign
He stressed that the essence of the 16 Days of Activism campaign is to unite everyone behind one message – that women and children must be safe and must feel safe at home, in the streets and anywhere in the country.
Also with President Zuma at the launch of the campaign were Minister Suzan Shabangu and Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. The province also experienced heightened security measures owing to the presence of the president.
Remarkably, this is Zuma’s first public appearance after calls from civic society Save SA for South Africans called for silent protests wherever he speaks.
In August, the president was humiliated during a live broadcast of the local election results at the IEC results operations centre when four women held a silent protest, reminding him about his alleged rape victim Khwezi.
The four women form part of a campaign called #1in3; which kicks against rape culture in South Africa.
South Africa is currently taking part in the global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign; which runs from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.