South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for tougher action against sexual offenders, this announcement comes amid outrage in parts of the country over the murders of women recently.
In an impromptu address to thousands of protesters outside parliament Mr Ramaphosa said it was time his government took emergency measures to deal with the scourge of rape and murder of women.
South Africa has one of the highest incidents of violence against women.
In recent days thousands of women have taken to social media calling for action from the government using tags such as #AmINext.
At least 137 sexual offences are committed per day, mainly against women, according to official figures.
Mr Ramaphosa said a state of emergency would need to be declared but it is not clear how that would help address violence in the country – under apartheid a state of emergency included curfews and restricting large gatherings.
But in the case of femicide, experts says the victim and perpetrators are often known to each other.