Durban - Human rights' group Amnesty International said on Thursday that gender-based violence in South Africa had reached "alarming levels".
The organisation's executive director for South Africa, Shenilla Mohamed, made the statement in response to a speech given earlier in the day by president Cyril Ramaphosa in which he addressed the country's gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide rates, following a spate of brutal incidents that left many in the country incensed.
“Gender-based violence has reached undeniably alarming levels in South Africa. It is absolutely unacceptable that women feel they have to watch what they wear in public and be careful about where they are seen socialising, for fear that they may face violent reprisals including rape or even death," said Mohamed.
“The time for sloganeering and politicking has passed. President Cyril Ramaphosa must now translate into action his vow that 'enough is enough'. It’s nothing short of a national emergency that femicide and rape rates are increasing countrywide, and the government must act decisively to tackle these issues."
According to Mohamed, decisive action would entail appropriate training for police officers, to enable them to "sensitively and objectively" investigate incidents of GBV and domestic violence.