Harry and Meghan make first official tour as family in Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, along with their infant son, Archie, are making their first official tour as a family, starting Monday in a troubled South Africa whose president says women and children are "under siege" by shocking violence.

South Africa is still shaken by the rape and murder of a university student, carried out in a post office, that sparked protests by thousands of women tired of abuse and impunity in a country where more than 100 rapes are reported every day. This is "one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman," President Cyril Ramaphosa said Wednesday.

Empowering women is one of the issues Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will address on a 10-day, multi-country visit, along with wildlife protection, entrepreneurship, mental health and mine clearance — a topic given global attention by Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, when she walked through an active mine field during an Africa visit years ago.

Some in South Africa say they are happy to see the arrival of Meghan, who has been vocal about women's rights and is likely to speak out again. One of her first events is a visit to a workshop that gives self-defense classes to young girls.

"I think the Duchess of Sussex' visit is perfectly timed. She's coming to South Africa at an incredibly turbulent time," said Lara Rosmarin, who leads a local tech incubator that will be part of the royal visit. "People are anxious, people are scared, people are worried ... She's coming at a time when she can instill some hope and some promise and perhaps highlight the struggles of women in South Africa."

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Prince Harry returns to work after royal baby's arrival
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Prince Harry returns to work after royal baby's arrival
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visits Sportcampus Zuiderpark as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 on May 9, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex rides a bicycle around Sportcampus Zuiderpark as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 on May 9, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex rides a bicycle around Sportcampus Zuiderpark as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 on May 9, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex rides a bicycle around Sportcampus Zuiderpark as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 on May 9, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex rides a bicycle around Sportcampus Zuiderpark as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 on May 9, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex (centre) rides a bicycle during events to launch the one year countdown to next year's Invictus Games in the Hague, in the Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex rides a bicycle during events to launch the one year countdown to next year's Invictus Games in the Hague, in the Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex mounts a bike for the next part of the tour at Sportcampus Zuiderpark during a visit to The Hague as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games. HRH will spend time meeting potential competitors and their families, joining the Netherlands in celebrating what an exciting event The Hague 2020 will be. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex founded the games in 2014 in which wounded veterans compete in an array of sporting events on May 09, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is presented with an Invictus Games baby grow for his newborn son Archie as he visits Sportcampus Zuiderpark as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 on May 9, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex receives a gift for his new son, Archie, from Princess Margriet of the Netherlands at a sports training session at Sportcampus Zuiderpark during a visit to The Hague as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games, Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex arriving for one day visit to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry holds an item of baby clothing during the presentation of The Invictus Games The Hague 2020 in The Hague on May 9, 2019. - In 2020, the sports event for physically and mentally injured soldiers will be held in the Zuiderpark in the Netherlands city. (Photo by patrick van katwijk / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read PATRICK VAN KATWIJK/AFP/Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex with Princess Margriet of the Netherlands as he arrives for one day visit to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex at a sports training session at Sportcampus Zuiderpark during a visit to The Hague as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games, Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex at a sports training session at Sportcampus Zuiderpark during a visit to The Hague as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games, Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex poses with a competitors family member at a sports training session at Sportcampus Zuiderpark during a visit to The Hague as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games. HRH will spend time meeting potential competitors and their families, joining the Netherlands in celebrating what an exciting event The Hague 2020 will be. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex founded the games in 2014 in which wounded veterans compete in an array of sporting events on May 09, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Chris Jackson Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex at a sports training session at Sportcampus Zuiderpark during a visit to The Hague as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games, Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex (centre) arriving for one day visit to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - MAY 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives at Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague as part of a programme of events to mark the official launch of the Invictus Games. HRH will spend time meeting potential competitors and their families, joining the Netherlands in celebrating what an exciting event The Hague 2020 will be. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex founded the games in 2014 in which wounded veterans compete in an array of sporting events on May 09, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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The high-profile visit by the royal family is expected to contrast with the breathtaking series of stories in local media in recent weeks about the reported abuse of women and children — "even babies," the president reminded Parliament this week.

The scope is now well known. More than 2,700 women were murdered last year, and more than 1,000 children, the government says. One in five women over age 18 have faced physical violence from a partner.

"The conviction rate for rape is a shameful 5%," the leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, said Wednesday. The state should oppose bail for suspects, deny parole to those found guilty and ensure that a life sentence means life in prison, South Africa's president now says.

Some women want more, saying South Africa should bring back the death penalty for rapists. Capital punishment was abolished in the country in 1995.

Despite the recent unrest, the royal family likely will focus on the positive. Planned events in their first public stop, Cape Town, include a visit to a non-governmental group that trains surfers to provide young people with mental health services.

"She is a very influential person and just for her to be here and to some way influence the girls on our program ... is a big part of why we're excited to have her here," said Courtney Barnes, a surfing coach with Waves For Change.

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Duchess Meghan's stylish return to work
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Duchess Meghan's stylish return to work
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duchess of Sussex arrives to launch the Smart Works capsule collection at John Lewis in Oxford Street, London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives to launch the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives to launch the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives to launch the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives to launch the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection at John Lewis Oxford Street on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection at John Lewis Oxford Street on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launches the Smart Works capsule collection at John Lewis Oxford Street on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex departs after launching the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the launch of the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex departs after launching the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the launch of the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the launch of the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (2L), arrives to launch the Smart Works capsule collection in London on Septemeber 12, 2019. - Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaks to a group of women as she launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex delivers a speech as she launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex embraces designer Misha Nonoo as she launches the Smart Works capsule collection on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex poses for a photograph with women dressed in clothes from the Smart Works capsule collection during the collection's launch on September 12, 2019 in London, England. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Harry and Meghan also will visit the oldest mosque in South Africa and meet with Nobel Peace Prize winner and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A "rare privilege and honor," Tutu and his wife, Leah, said Thursday.

The prince later will break away for visits to Botswana, Angola and Malawi with a special focus on wildlife protection.

In Angola, Harry will walk in the footsteps of his mother, whose steps across a mine field in 1997 helped to inspire an international ban on anti-personnel mines later that year. That field in Huambo is now a busy street, and Angola's government, now years past a grinding civil war, hopes to be free of land mines by 2025.

The southern African nation is now turning toward ecotourism.

Meghan will remain in South Africa with events including a Johannesburg visit to a charity that helps to raise awareness of sexual violence in schools.

The royal family's Africa visit ends on Oct. 2.

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