A prominent monarch in South Africa, the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has proposed that convicted rapists are castrated.
He believes that is the best way to end the wave of rape cases in the rainbow nation.
Local news outlet IOL news quoted the monarch as saying that his proposal “would end this thing (rape).
“This should be done in a way that would show the world that the Zulu nation does not tolerate this shame,” he said to his subjects at a celebration on Tuesday.
The king said the castration would be carried out by “Men like us”.
According to South African officials over 41,000 people were raped in the country from April 2018.
That amounts to more than one rape every 15 minutes.
“Information shows that 41% of people raped in the country are children, and of these crimes only 4% are prosecuted,” the king said.
“Why such a small percentage?” he asked adding that “This means that people are not being prosecuted.
This means there is something wrong somewhere in our country or in the leadership,” he said.
Honouring cultural values
He added that “Since we do circumcision, this time we have to go beyond (in cutting). We should do this as part of honouring King Shaka who made the laws, the nation and respect. We should restore respect”.
The king does not have formal political power but remains very influential among South Africa’s largest ethnic group.
But a gender activist, Nonhlanhla Skosana said although it was clear that leaders were concerned “injuring people or taking violent action against perpetrators would never solve the issue.”
“If you read the Sexual Offence’s Act, even objects are also used, and by law that is classified as rape.”
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that urgent action is needed to tackle gender-based violence.
He told parliament last week that the figures for violence against women and children including rape were similar to those of a country at war.
“There is a dark and heavy shadow across our land. Women and children are under siege,” Mr Ramaphosa said, describing South Africa as one of “the most unsafe places in world to be a woman”.