The four South African women who rattled the nation with anti-rape protest

The four ladies who staged the protest

Story highlights

  • President Jacob Zuma unveiled statues of four women holding petitions
  • New generation of female protesters disrupt watershed moment

Johannesburg (CNN)In commemoration of the country's Women's Day, South African President Jacob Zuma unveiled statues of four women holding petitions.

Six decades ago Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophia Williams and Lilian Ngoyi led 20,000 women in protest against apartheid-era laws aimed at restricting the movement of people of color.
    For an hour, thousands of women stood in silence in front of the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956.
    That historic day is now commemorated as Women's Day in South Africa.
    A few days ago, a new generation of female protesters disrupted a watershed moment in South Africa -- this time highlighting the ongoing rape culture plaguing the country.
    Once again, four young women -- named in local media as Naledi Chirwa, Simamkele Dlakavu, Tinyiko Shikwambane and Amanda Mavuso -- shook the nation as they stood silently in front of a stage where Zuma was addressing the public on the close of the local elections at the Independent Electoral Commission in Pretoria.
    From the onset, it wasn't a great night for Zuma, his ruling party the ANC, ceded control of significant municipalities in the recent elections.
    It was about to take a turn for the worse. As Zuma took to the podium, the left-wing party the Economic Freedom Fighters staged a walk out as normal, but at the same time four women quickly moved to the front of the stage.
    Dressed in black, they held up pieces of paper with a powerful message in red, resurrecting a haunting memory. The posters read:
    • I am 1 in 3
    • 10 years later
    • Khanga
    • Remember Khwezi