, CAPE TOWN, Feb 28, – President Jacob Zuma launched an anti-rape campaign in South Africa’s schools on Thursday, saying it was a necessary step to tackle the “sickness” of rampant sexual assaults.
“Over 64,000 cases of rape were reported to police last year,” Zuma told a packed hall of pupils at a Cape Town high school.
“We have come together to say these horrendous attacks must stop.”
The Stop Rape campaign will be launched in schools countrywide on Friday.
More than 10 million pupils are set to make a pledge against sexual violence.
The campaign was sparked by the horrific rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen earlier this month whose mutilation shocked the country.
“The start of this campaign is necessary step that our country or nation has to undertake to rid this scourge, to cure our nation of the sickness,” said Zuma.
He also urged the youngsters to report assaults and not to abuse drugs which he said was linked to the high rate of sexual crimes.
“I felt that it was really important,” said school goer Mekayla Piekaan, 17, saying violence in her community was often not reported.
The campaign is in partnership with a private initiative Lead SA.