By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN
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Still, the nation is not inured to the horror these crimes inflict. Lindiwe Mazibuko serves in South Africa's parliament. She says the rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booyson should spur people to action:
[1:05] "I believe that this can be a watershed moment. I believe it's up to South African society, political leaders, the government and those in the criminal justice system to decide whether or not this will be a watershed moment."
The brutality of the crime, as well as Booyson's bravery identifying one of her attackers before she died, has captivated South Africa. Protesters marched, columnists penned emotional editorials, and President Jacob Zuma weighed in as well.
But political scientist Sally Matthews says much of the discussion misconstrues the problem:
[2:24] "What concerns me is that a lot of the responses to gender-based violence call the men who commit these acts monsters or think of such men as being very different from the rest of us."
Matthews argues that instead of distancing these perpetrators from society as a whole, the community should consider how broadly-held attitudes and opinions contribute to a culture that tolerates violence.
The Valentine's day shooting at the home of Olympian Oscar Pistorius, dropped right in the middle of this conversation.
Pistorius has professed his innocence in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. But he faces a charge of premeditated murder. Authorities said there had been "previous incidents" at the home, including "allegations of a domestic nature," but did not provide details.
In an eerie connection between the two cases, Steenkamp posted a tribute to Booyson on Instagram. Four days later, she died of multiple gunshot wounds.