South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has always denied any wrongdoing

President Cyril Ramaphosa urged South African men and boys to break the cycle of violence, as the United Nations kicked off the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign on Nov. 25.

South Africa is also following the campaign, with the country witnessing an increase in crimes against women. In his weekly newsletter to the country, Ramaphosa recalled the recent incident, where a young male student stabbed his female partner, who was studying at the Peninsula University of Technology, on Nov. 12.

"The fact that the attack happened in broad daylight and in full view of the public, shows that some perpetrators of gender-based violence seemingly do not even care if there are witnesses to their crimes, nor do they fear apprehension," Ramaphosa said, SA News reported.

He went on to praise those students who tried to intervene despite being threatened, and added it was "significant that other male students attempted to ward off the attacker of the young female student." The president also commended those students who "stepped in as the alleged perpetrator was being attacked by a crowd."

Ramaphosa noted that gender-based violence continued in South Africa, as many people look at crime against women and children as a "private matter" or "family matter."

According to the president, most of the gender-based violence cases include sexual violence and domestic abuse, where the attacker was known to the victim.

Ramaphosa also mentioned that the African Union (AU) will commence the 3rd Men's Conference on Positive Masculinity in Pretoria this week, where the attendees will discuss toxic masculinity.

South Africa will co-host the conference alongside the AU Chairperson and President of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani. Previously, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal hosted the event in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

"For the AU, as it is for our own country, ending gender-based violence is a priority. Discussions are currently underway on the content of an African Convention to End Violence Against Women and Girls, executing a decision of the African Union Summit earlier this year," the president said.

"Once adopted, the convention will be the first continental legal instrument for the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls. We have long maintained that interventions aimed at eradicating gender-based violence in our society must focus on prevention"

The South African government has adopted a National Strategic Plan to fight against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. The government is continuously engaging with traditional leaders, civil society, academia and researchers, faith communities, youth organizations and the private sector to combat gender-based violence.