President Cyril Ramaphosa at the South African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union national congress. Picture: @SACTWU/Twitter

Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa told the South African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union national congress under way in Durban that a joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday will look at gender-based violence and violence against foreign nationals.

"These past three weeks have raised the spectre of gender-based violence to the highest levels, as well as attacks on foreign nationals. "We must get involved in a campaign against gender-based violence and sexual violence. SA women fear walking down the street. This is a serious indictment on us as men and on us as a government. We will do better in this regards."

Ramaphosa on Monday again pledged to train police to deal better with gender-based violence. 

"We will create centres of refuge for women who need a place of safety... strengthen laws and the criminal justice system to make a tangible difference in how people will be prosecuted."

He called for a raising of the level of consciousness "amongst us as men that we need to treat our women with respect. We must take active steps to socialise ourselves and move away from the backward patriarchal attitudes.This requires that the men of this country must stand up and say not in our name. We can condemn in the strongest possible terms the acts of violence against women and children".

Ramaphosa referred to how he was jeered at a memorial service for Robert Mugabe on Saturday, saying they viewed him as representing the whole of South Africa.
"Only when I apologised on behalf of all South Africans, did they respond positively.

"The world expects us to act in a way that we respect the rights of people from all countries."

Ramaphosa said there was excuse for violence against people from other countries. "Looting and violence against foreign national is unacceptable.

"This country knows the trauma and pain that discrimination bring and we will not inflict that trauma on anyone else. Immigrants must not be turned on anyone else. We must not take out our frustration over slow pace of economy on anyone else. When you are in our country and if you break the law there will be consequences.There shall be rule of law in SA whether people like it or not. There will be consequences," Ramaphosa said.

Political Bureau