WATCH | Cyril Ramaphosa visits grieving EC families

Uyinene Mrwetyana’s name will be hoisted high in the government’s campaign to galvanise the nation against gender-based violence, president Cyril Ramaphosa told her grieving family at their Beacon Bay home on Friday.

The head of state touched down in East London on Friday to console families of three East London women slain allegedly by men close to them in violence against women over the past week.

Ramaphosa said the country had reached a “watershed moment” and a “turning point” on gender-based violence.

Mwetyana, 20, was allegedly killed by a post office worker in Clarement, Cape Town last week.

Angelique Clarke-Abrahams, 25, was allegedly raped and killed by a man close to her while her son, 6, was in the house in Brookville, East London on Tuesday.

On September 6 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa paid his respects to the East London families of three women killed tragically in the last week where gender-based violence in South Africa has been in the spotlight. #aminext #metoo

Leighandre ‘Baby Lee’ Jegels was allegedly shot and killed by her policeman boyfriend. Baby Lee, a professional boxer, had been travelling with her mother to a gym in Mdantsane last Friday.

Speaking at a sombre gathering at Mrwetyana’s Beacon Bay home, Ramaphosa said: “It’s (about) how we should now stand up and take steps to end gender-based violence. There are many other women and young women who are being brutalised, and all of them need to be part of this process to remind us that we must take steps to bring this to an end.”

He thanked Mrwetyana’s mother and father, who were seated beside him in their double-story house, which was packed with family members, friends and neighbours.

The president thanked the mourning Mrwetyana family for allowing the government to not only visit them, but also allowing the state to use their daughter’s name and image to drum home the message against gender-based violence.

Ramaphosa said: “I’ve had a very good meeting with them. They were telling me about their loss. I felt it. We’re here to pay our respects to their family. We want to comfort them in this dark hole, and we’d like to thank them as well as the community for welcoming us,” he said.

Outside the house where journalists awaited the president, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said he would only be issuing a statement addressing news of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe’s death.

Dignitaries included state security deputy minister Zizi Kodwa, justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola as well as telecommunications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Speaking exclusively to the DispatchLIVE on the sidelines, Kodwa said he visited Mrwetyana’s home because he was a personal friend of the parents. “I’m part of the delegation of the presidency. I’m also very close to the Mrwetyana’s. I’ve known them for quite some time.

“When this happened, I wanted to come directly and pay my respects. Although the issues of criminality (against women) may not necessarily fall within our mandate, we are looking at what the root cause is. We are beginning to understand what is it that causes such waves of brutal murder and killing of women by men who are close to them.”

Ramaphosa visited Baby Lee’s mother in hospital before making his last stop at the Clark family home in Brookville. - DispatchLIVE


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