Shame of our nation

Almost eight in every 100 South African women are raped every year - and that ghastly figure doesn't even include the girls.

Almost eight in every 100 South African women are raped every year - and that ghastly figure doesn't even include the girls.

At least 12000 children were raped in Gauteng alone last year.

No one can tell how many tens of thousands of victims are never identified, but officials and social workers alike agree that relatively few cases are ever reported.

To our ever-lasting shame, we are the rape capital of the world.

No other humans anywhere on the planet treat their women as shamefully, as disgustingly, as we do.

You need not look far, for they are all around us: they are our mothers, our sisters and, most horrifying of all, they are our children and babies.

Are our men so shallow they can express their virility only by forcing themselves on our grannies and tots?

Pundits may pontificate, priests may pray, feminists may fluster and activists may shout all they want, but their fulminations haven't changed a thing.

And nothing will change until all of us, men and women, relearn the old lessons of respect that our cultures, religions and laws demand we show each other.

No one but ourselves can end this national tragedy.

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