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Pretoria - A women's rights advocacy group protested outside the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Wednesday morning as embattled paralympian Oscar Pistorius appeared on a murder charge.
Waving placards, members of the Youth for Survival group sang at the entrance to the court, urging the authorities to deny Pistorius bail.
A leader of the protesters, Moshy Mathe, said most women now felt defenceless and vulnerable in South Africa.
“What should we do as women in this country? Should we be sleeping with guns below our pillows? We came here to urge the justice system to see the seriousness of what is happening in South Africa,” she said.
Mathe said the law should be amended to ensure that people arrested in connection with the abuse of women and children should not be granted bail.
“Our stance is that Oscar, in particular, should not be given bail until he proves his innocence. It will be a very sad day if they give him bail in this court,” she said.
Pistorius has been charged with murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in Pretoria last week.
On Tuesday, Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana joined a group of mainly ANC Women's League members protesting outside the court.
“We want him to be treated like other criminals that have been charged with murder or abuse of women,” Xingwana said.
Those found guilty of such crimes should be punished with the “stiffest sentences”, she told reporters. - Sapa