South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged men to unite against rape and sexual assault in the country, calling it a “national crisis”.
Women were being raped and killed on a continuous basis and it was time to end gender-based violence, he said.
He made his impassioned plea while launching an election manifesto for the governing African National Congress.
Some 40,000 rapes are reported every year, though this is thought to be only a fraction of the real total.
The president asked men in the packed Durban stadium, where tens of thousands of supporters watched his speech, to stand to show their condemnation.
“We have made huge strides in improving the position of women in society… However, gender-based violence is a national crisis that we are determined to end, so that all South African women and girls may live in peace, safety and dignity, ” he said.
“The emancipation of women requires a change in attitudes and the material conditions that perpetuate the oppression and marginalisation of women.”