Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:27 AM
pampango (20,201 posts)
South African girl's gang-rape and murder triggers political outrage (as happened in India)
South Africans take part in a Slut Walk protest against sexual violence in Cape Town.
In 2010-11, 56,272 rapes were recorded in South Africa, double the number in India.
The gang-rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl in South Africa has triggered expressions of outrage from politicians and calls for Indian-style protests against a culture of sexual violence. The case is being compared to the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus that triggered huge demonstrations in India against endemic gender violence.
Patrick Craven, spokesman for the Congress of South African Trade Unions, said: "When a very similar incident occurred in India recently, there was a massive outbreak of protest and mass demonstrations in the streets; it was a big story around the world. We must show the world that South Africans are no less angry at such crimes and make an equally loud statement of disgust and protest in the streets."
But such a display seems unlikely in a country where rights groups complain that rape has become normalised and lost the power to shock. In 2010-11, 56,272 rapes were recorded in South Africa, an average of 154 a day and more than double the rate in India.
Lindiwe Mazibuko, parliamentary leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, said: "It is time to ask the tough questions that for too long we have avoided. We live in a deeply patriarchal and injured society where the rights of women are not respected. Indeed, there is a silent war against the children and women of this country – and we need all South Africans to unite in the fight against it."
Such calls are bemusing to campaigners already working to combat such violence. Dumisani Rebombo, who was 15 when he raped a girl at his school in 1976, is now a gender equality activist. "We don't need a debate, we need action," he said. "My take is that more people need to say enough is enough, let's prevent this in our country. We don't need more recommendations. We need education. The question of debate is an insult."
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