South African President Jacob Zuma says that the country is experiencing a national crisis following a spate of violent attacks against women and children.
Zuma said this on Thursday after he visited the family of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was raped and killed.
“This is one of the saddest incidents I’ve come across. It’s a crisis in the country, the manner in which women and children are being killed,” Zuma said, adding that 19 children had been murdered so far this year in the Western Cape province which includes Cape Town.
“We as the citizens of this country must say enough is enough,” Zuma said in televised remarks after visiting the family of the toddler.
Courtney Pieters went missing from her Cape Town home on May 4. Her body was found over a week later buried in a shallow grave.
Local media reported that a 40-year-old boarder in the child’s home had been arrested for her rape and murder.
Elsewhere, the bodies of four murdered women were discovered at the weekend in and around Soweto, the sprawling black township near Johannesburg, local media reported.
According to data released by police last year South Africa’s murder rate is 34 per 100,000 people, almost seven times the rate in the United States.
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