South Africans call for a National Shutdown after a string of violent incidents this week

This week began on a very sombre note for South Africans after reports of a 42-year old man appearing in court in connection with the murder and rape of missing UCT student, Uyinene Mrwetyana, the kidnapping of six-year-old Amy-Lee de Jager in Vanderbijlpark, as well as violent xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg and Pretoria on Monday, 2 September. Amy-Lee de Jager has since been reunited with her family after her abduction on Monday morning at a Vanderbijlpark school.

Thousands of social media users have been expressing their deep disdain and concern over the high profile murders of women and the violent crimes that continue to plague South Africa. Some have called for a National Shutdown in protest against the violence that has occurred in the country. Over 300,000 South Africans have signed a petition calling for the death penalty to be reinstated.

#AmINext

The #AmINext hashtag was sparked by the heinous murder and rape of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana’s after a suspect was arrested in connection with her disappearance. He has appeared in court on charges of rape, murder and defeating the ends of justice. People took to social media in order to express the horror and pain of experiencing yet another violent crime against women and children in South Africa. The SA government responded to the incident with a tweet calling for women to speak out and “not allow themselves to be victims by keeping quiet”.

Many responded to this tweet saying that it showed just how SA government views violent crime against women, some even of the opinion that even our ministers are prone to victim-blaming and do not have the sensitivity and tact required to adequately respond to this serious issue within our society. #Notallmen began trending again on Twitter in response to women sharing their experiences of gender-based violence.

#NationalShutdown and #ShutdownSA

On Tuesday morning, the hashstags #NationalShutdown, #ShutdownSA and #DearMrPresdient began trending in South Africa.

A petition called Save South Africa was signed by 75,837 people (at the time of publishing) and calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action in the midst of all these violent incidences across the country. The President is yet to respond to the calls, but the South African government condemned the violence against women and children in a series of tweets to which people responded accordingly:

Source: Capricorn Review