Gender-based violence remains a problem in Limpopo. The Social Development Department says it handled 673 cases since the lockdown. Just more than 480 were registered in August alone when the country celebrated Women’s Month.
Almost everyday there are reports of a woman being attacked, raped, or killed. Recent incidents include the killing of 20-year-old TVET student Kgaogelo Shai, whose partially decomposed body was discovered in a dry stream at Mokgoloboto village outside Tzaneen.
She was allegedly last seen on 29 August with her boyfriend Rodney Kgatla, who was out on parole for murder. He died in a suspected suicide two days after the student went missing.
“Her friends told me they were hanging out. Then her boyfriend Ronny Kgatla called her around 8pm. She decided to leave them and went to meet him. That was the last time anyone saw or heard from her,” Shai’s sister Pelma explains.
The family of a 17-year-old teenager who was allegedly killed by her 19-year-old boyfriend at Ga-Madiba outside Mokopane, are also distraught. Kagiso Kale’s body was discovered at her home with multiple stab wounds last week.
The suspect has been arrested.
Family Spokesperson Mavis Molomo says they are unable to come to terms with Kagiso’s killing.
“We are in so much pain. Kagiso’s death has devastated us. Oh my God … she had qualities of a leader. She had a bright future. She was very clever. We were still expecting a lot from her but the devil has stolen her from us.”
In another incident, 35-year-old Elizabeth Tjiane was found with multiple stab wounds at her home on Sunday at Sterkfontein near Groblersdal. Her boyfriend and father of her child has been arrested.
Tjiane’s relative, Walter Ngema has appealed to other men to find better ways to deal with their anger instead of resorting to violence.
“Shocked, devastated and broken because, Lizzy … she had just lost her daughter in 2017 September. Now, it’s her. She was a talkative person if I can put it that way. Remember she used to sell food at the taxi rank. I don’t remember her being that kind of person who is violent. She is a person who used to assist us when we have gatherings in our family. Men, we should take responsibility and talk about things because violence is not the case. Violence is not the answer. Those people cannot defend themselves.”
Twenty-two-year-old Grace Mudau of Ha-Mutsha village outside Thohayandou lost her life, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend.
Mudau’s body was found at her boyfriend’s home with multiple stab wounds. The suspect, a parolee, was arrested. Mudau’s heartbroken mother, Doreen Kgaudi, was inconsolable when she spoke to SABC News.
“I am hurt that there are so many people in my home because my child has died. It hurts me that he is still alive and happy while I’m mourning my child and I have to raise their child alone. I just want to talk to him when they arrest him, so I can ask him why he killed her.”
In June, two women were killed in separate incidents allegedly by their boyfriends:
These are only a few of the cases that were reported in the media.
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha has described women as an endangered species and has called for harsher punishment to perpetrators.
Mathabatha has also urged the courts to stop releasing suspects of domestic abuse on bail and those convicted, on parole.
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