Atrocious rape and murder shows need for comprehensive approach to sexual violence in South Africa: Human Rights chief

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UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday expressed her shock and deep sadness at the atrocious rape, mutilation and murder of Anene Booysen, a 17-year-old South African woman.

And Navi Pillay has called for a more comprehensive approach to tackling the "pandemic of sexual violence" affecting tens of thousands of women every year in South Africa.

She said "There is a need for very strong signals to be sent to all rapists that sexual violence is absolutely unacceptable and that they will have to face the consequences of their terrible acts", adding that "The entrenched culture of sexual violence which prevails in South Africa must end."

Anene Booysen was raped and mutilated, allegedly by several men on 2 February and left for dead on a building site in Bredasdorp, 80 miles east of Cape Town. The following morning she was found, still alive, by a security guard, but died later the same day.

The UN human rights chief welcomed "the strong reaction by President Zuma and other actors, including political parties, NGOs and trade unions," Pillay said.  "But it should not have taken this particularly atrocious case, involving rape, torture and murder, to underline the urgent need for a more thorough response across the whole spectrum of South African society to tackle the root causes of this pandemic of sexual violence."

South Africa has the highest rates of rape reported to the police anywhere in the world. In 2012, the number of rapes documented by the police rose to over 64,000, or 175 per day.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’27″

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