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Violence against South Africa’s women, children: verifying claims at a men’s summit

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Violence against South Africa’s women, children: verifying claims at a men’s summit

30th August 2018

By: Africa Check


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Men from organisations across South Africa came together for a summit in August 2018 to develop a “men’s charter” and a “men’s sector strategic plan for positive social change”.

Opening the Takuwani Riime men’s summit in KwaZulu-Natal, deputy president David Mabuza called on men to take stock of the role they play in South African society. Takuwani Riime is a Tshivenda expression meaning “Let us stand up together”.


“We have to talk as men about the pain we’ve inflicted on women and children,” Mabuza said.

Here we weigh up five claims Mabuza made about violence against South Africa’s women and children. (Note: We tried to get clarity on Mabuza’s sources from his spokesperson Thami Ngwenya, but at the time of publication our request was unanswered. We will update this report when he responds.)


Claim: “Our country’s femicide rate has been increasing over the last five years.”

Verdict: correct

The South African Police Service records the number of women murdered in the country. When this data is compared with population estimates, a murder rate can be calculated.

The most recent data available shows that in the 2017/18 financial year, 15.2 out of every 100,000 women were victims of murder.

This is the highest the rate has been in the past five years and represents a 16% increase over the period.

South Africa’s femicide rate

                                                 Woman 18+ murdered                                     Femicide rate/100,000

2013/14                                    2,354                                                                13.1

2014/15                                    2,234                                                                12.2

2015/16                                    2,416                                                                13.0

2016/17                                    2,639                                                                14.0

2017/18                                    2,930                                                                15.2

Source: South African Police Service and Statistics South Africa


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