Statement on the murder of women and children in our Archdiocese of Johannesburg

On behalf of the Justice & Peace Department of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, Fr Innocent Mabheka (Episcopal Vicar) and Mr Joseph Dube (Head of Department) have issued the following statement.



Whilst the world marks International Women’s Day on Sunday the 28th of May, it is with great outrage and sadness that South Africans are facing so many murders and rapes of women and children.

The Archdiocese of Johannesburg Justice and Peace Department expresses extremely grave concern about the violence against women and children across the Archdiocese. Justice and Peace totally condemns these cowardly acts of violence by the perpetrators of these ruthless, inhuman attacks on women and children.

Men and women have equal dignity

A human being, man and woman, young or old, is created in the image of God,: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. “Being man” or “being woman” is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman have one and the same dignity “in the image of God”. In their “being-man” and “being-woman”, they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness (Cf. Catholic Catechism No.369).

Stop the killing!

We call upon the Police in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, the Catholic communities and all communities to strive zealously to stop the killing of women and children. We also urge the Police and every man to ensure the safety of women and children in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg.

We call on Catholic men, Parishes and Justice and Peace groups to work together with the Police and within their communities in a relentless effort to stop Gender Based Violence. The Church should not only raise it voice but also contribute to eradicating these cowardly, despicable violent crimes

Condolences and Prayers

We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the women and children who have been victims of this horrible violence. May the Loving God send His Holy Spirit to comfort all of them.

We ask the Catholic communities in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg to pray for the victims and survivors of Gender Based Violence.

We pray that the Police and the community may leave no stone unturned in their search for the heartless perpetrators, and see to it that they are charged and held accountable.

We also encourage prayers for the perpetrators that they may repent and turn away from their hellish attitudes and actions which cry to Heaven for retribution from God.

May the souls of the murdered women and children rest in Peace!

Issued by: Archdiocese of Johannesburg Justice and Peace
Fr Innocent Mabheka (011) 4026400 Episcopal Vicar
Mr Joseph Dube (011) 402 6400 Head of Department