Issued by the Department of Women, Youth & Persons with Disabilities Attention: Journalists and News Editors Pretoria, 04 May 2022


Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane joins South Africa in expressing shock and outrage at the recent spate of rape and brutal killings affecting young women and girls.

The month of April and the start of May has been yet another dark and shameful period for South Africa with more women and girls becoming victims of rape and murder. Recent cases gaining media attention like the rape and murder of 12-year-old Emihle Tukani; or the barbaric act of raping and then gouging out the eyes of a 16-year-old girl from Cabazana Village, Eastern Cape; or the senseless murder of Hillary Gardee, 28, daughter of former EFF Secretary-General Godrich Gardee has left everyone in shock and disbelief.

Current media attention focusing on the killing of Hillary Gardee once again drives home the reality that women in South Africa are at the receiving end of the most horrendous acts of violence. The recent spate of rape and femicide affirm the current statistics that indicate a woman is murdered every 3 hours in our country. The ongoing murders of women and girls places South Africa’s femicide rate at almost 5 times higher than the global average. Many researchers, academics, and activists working in the gender based violence and femicide (GBVF) sector, put this figure much higher due to the high number of unsolved murder cases still under investigation.

“The department wishes to express its sadness and condolences to families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones to gender-based violence. We pray that the friends and family members find the strength to heal from these senseless and brutal acts,” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.

Women, and in particular, young women are restricted from enjoying their human rights as equal citizens in South Africa due to the very real threat of possible violence, rape, and femicide that exists. There are many families like the Tukani and Gardee families who face the daunting task of coming to terms with the brutal violence meted out to their wives, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and nieces.

The department once again expresses its outrage and sadness at these killings. Gender-based violence and femicide remains a persistent pandemic that is impacting all of society.

“We live in a society deeply entrenched in gender inequalities which are often manifested in the most violent and gruesome ways. We cannot ignore the violent manifestations of inequalities that continue to deprive women and girls of their basic rights to life and dignity. We, as a nation, must be accountable for the persistent violence in our workplaces, schools, communities, and homes. It is through collective actions that we can fully bring gender-based violence and femicide to an end,” added Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.


Mr Shalen Gajadhar (Director: Communications, Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities) 060 979 4235