President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said that men who were arrested for harassing, assaulting, raping or killing women should not be granted bail.
Ramaphosa addressed the gender-based violence (GBV) dialogue of the African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners.
He also promised that government would do more to empower women by building shelters, employing social workers, and training police and judicial officers.
“We need to get men to stop this cruelty and this horrendous disposition that they have towards women,” Ramaphosa said.
“It needs to be made clear that [if] you harass a woman sexually, [if] you beat up a woman, the consequences are going to be very harsh. It’s for that reason that I’ve supported very strongly that when a man has been arrested for rape, killing, and even assault they must not be given bail,” he added.
The president said that women should be empowered with skills so that they could leave abusive relationships. He said that the number of shelters for victims should be increased.
“I want all social workers who are unemployed to be brought into employment because there are many wounds and scars in our society,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa commended the men who were leading the fight against GBV and called on others to follow their example.
Dozens of women have been attacked, mutilated, and murdered in South Africa over the past few weeks, with police calling on the public to help find their killers.