President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was deeply upset at hearing the stories of abuse suffered by South African women, as he addressed the #TotalShutdown protesters in Pretoria on Wednesday night.
"You have the right to enjoy your bodies, the right to live a life that is happy. And I am sorry - I really am deeply sorry - that a number of women in country have not had the opportunity to enjoy all the rights in the Constitution because they are violated, abused, assaulted and a number are also killed.
"This causes me to hang my head in shame, because this is not the way South African men should behave towards the women of our country," he said.
Ramaphosa was meeting protesters who had earlier in the day marched to the Union Building to share their concerns over gender-based violence. The crowd was protesting under the banner of the #TotalShutdown, which was part of a series of nationwide protests against the scourge of gender-based violence.