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Cape Town - Ten million pupils around South Africa this morning pledged to combat abuse and rape in their communities. This comes on the second day of the Stop Rape Campaign, launched yesterday by President Jacob Zuma at Glendale Senior Secondary School in Mitchells Plain.
This morning, LeadSA and the Department of Basic Education, joint organisers of the pledge, were hosted by pupils at Strandfontein Senior Secondary School.
Minister Angie Motshekga addressed pupils, saying the pledge amounted to an important moment “in our campaign as South Africans against ongoing violence directed at women and children”.
She said the high levels of violence, sexual offences, abuse, rape and “rampant bullying in our schools” made it impossible for the peace and comfort, envisaged in the Freedom Charter, to become a reality.
Western Cape Community Policing Forum chairman Hanif Loonat said LeadSA and the Cape Argus’s Ride Against Rape campaign were setting examples for civil society and business to take an active stand against rape.
He emphasised the fight against rape needed to be intertwined with the fight against drug and alcohol abuse.
Deputy Basic Education Minister Mohamed Enver Surty asked boys to take to take responsibility to protect girls from abuse, while urging girls to report all forms of physical and emotional abuse.
“After the pledge has been taken by millions of learners on March 1, we encourage each and every citizen to also adopt it. Take it to your offices, factories and homes. Say no to rape,” said LeadSA’s Yusuf Abramjee.