Indian men watch as a woman protests outside the court where the accused in a gang rape of a 23-year-old woman are to be tried, in New Delhi.

Durban - Anti-rape activists will this week protest in Umbilo for at least an hour each day to highlight the scourge of rape.

The lunch-hour pickets will continue until Valentine’s Day on Thursday.

They are a reaction to the recent rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp, Western Cape.

The pickets, organised by the Umbilo Action Group, had drawn a sympathetic response from Durban residents who had pledged to join the protests, said co-ordinator Barry Bolter.

“We will have a group of 14 people and spread them out to prominent areas in Umbilo. We want to draw attention that something needs to be done about the scourge of rape in the country and it needs to be done now,” he said.

Vanessa Burger, chairwoman of the group, said the protest was to also to call on the government to allocate sufficient resources to roll out national education programmes to teach men that rape was not OK.

She said reported sexual crimes within the Umbilo precinct had risen by 213 percent over the past 10 years.

The group was also demanding that investigating and the successful prosecution of sexual and domestic violence crimes be made a priority.

People who wish to join the protest have been urged to bring placards and wear either black or red, to mourn the death of Anene Booysen.

Meanwhile, the DA has said Anene’s horrific rape and murder had highlighted the urgency in which the country needed to act against sexual offences.

The party’s spokeswoman on justice, Debbie Schafer, said one of the critical changes that needed to be made was the reinstatement of the specialised sexual offences courts.

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