As attention around gender-based violence and femicide gains traction, is enough being done to protect women and girls in South Africa?
This follows the tragic death of 11-year-old Amanda Mthembu. Her naked and lifeless body was found in a sugarcane field in Dokodweni Reserve. She had allegedly been strangled to death.
According to Colonel Thembeka Mbele, Amanda went missing on June 14. After days of searching for her, the Gingindlovu police and the Umhlali K9 Unit found her lifeless body.
“Charges of murder and rape were opened at Gingindlovu police station for investigation,” Colonel Mbele says.
After an intensive investigation by Gingindlovu detectives, a 17-year-old suspect was arrested at Dokodweni on Wednesday afternoon, June 24. He will now appear in the Mtunzini Magistrate’s Court, facing murder and rape charges.
As tragic as Amanda Mthembu’s death is, she is not the only recent victim of brutality against women and children.
In recent weeks, scores of women and girls have been attacked and killed in the most brutal ways.
One such woman is Tshegofatso Pule. Tshegofatso was eight months pregnant, when she was found stabbed to death and hanging from a tree in an open veld in Roodepoort.
In another incident, 27-year-old Altecia Kortjie, and her 7-year-old daughter, Raynecia, were found dead at a house in Cape Town. Both had been stabbed to death.
The list of women who have died at the hands of men continues. Such is the increase in attacks against women in our country, that on June 17, President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised that COVID-19 was not the only pandemic in South Africa.
“As a man, as a husband and as a father, I am appalled at what is no less than a war being waged against the women and children of our country. At a time when the pandemic has left us all feeling vulnerable and uncertain, violence is being unleashed on women and children with a brutality that defies comprehension,” he said at the time.
While the government assures they are taking steps to address the matter, is it enough? What steps do you feel need to be taken against perpetrators found guilty of gender-based violence, femicide and rape? Share your thoughts and views with us in the comment section below.