Abusing women is not our tradition, nor is it our custom

The president on Thursday delivered the national Heritage Day keynote address under the theme ‘Celebrating South Africa’s Living Human Treasures’.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said future generations should be allowed to inherit a democracy that affirmed their dignity.

Ramaphosa delivered the national Heritage Day keynote address under the theme Celebrating South Africa’s Living Human Treasures.

The president outlined government’s plans to honour three prominent women, namely Dr Esther Mahlangu, Madosini Latozi Mpahleni, and Ouma Katrina Letsau, who had all dedicated their lives to strengthening South Africa’s indigenous knowledge systems.

Ramaphosa also said this month would be dedicated to combatting the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV).

“Abusing women is not our tradition, nor is it our custom. It is not, and will never be, our heritage,” Ramaphosa said.

“Throughout the history of this continent, women have built and shaped our societies. They have ruled kingdoms. They have been highly respected and valued,” he added.

Earlier this week, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced a list of South Africa’s top 30 GBV hotspots.

He said the list had been compiled based on nine key variables, including the number of cases reported, and the number of calls received related to domestic violence.

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Ramaphosa said the country could not be free unless women were free.

“We must put an end to this terrible shame that is tainting the image of our country. When you oppress a woman, you oppress a nation. When you beat a woman, you beat a nation,” the president said.

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