From the Editor

A woman is the vic­tim of in­ti­mate femi­cide ev­ery eight hours in SouthAfrica. at’s three women ev­ery day

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - Kerrie Si­mon-Lawrence Act­ing editor kerrie@as­soc­me­

Ithink it’s pretty safe to say that ev­ery woman in South Africa felt a chill when she heard about the mur­der of Karabo Mokoena. I was stand­ing at Wool­worths, scan­ning the front pages of the news­pa­pers, when I read that Karabo’s body had been found in the veld in Bram­ley, Jo­han­nes­burg, and was so badly dis­fig­ured that a passer-by thought it was a burnt man­nequin.

Karabo was a busi­ness stu­dent. She had loads of friends. She loved to dance. Per­haps that’s what rat­tled women across the na­tion – the re­al­i­sa­tion that she’s ‘just like us’.

At the time of go­ing to print, Karabo’s boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe is stand­ing trial for her mur­der. Wit­nesses claim they saw the pair fight­ing in a Sand­ton club the night Karabo dis­ap­peared, and Sandile has ad­mit­ted to the po­lice that he dis­posed of her body by burn­ing it in a field the fol­low­ing day. But he claims he didn’t kill her.

Re­gard­less of what hap­pens in court, and whether Sandile is found guilty or not, we need to talk about in­ti­mate femi­cide – the mur­der of a woman at the hands of her part­ner. A woman is the vic­tim of in­ti­mate femi­cide ev­ery eight hours in South Africa. That’s three women ev­ery day. Three women. To­day.

It’s clearly some­thing South African women are ready to talk about too. Within hours of Karabo’s body be­ing found, the Men Are Trash hash­tag had gone vi­ral on Twit­ter. And while there were, un­der­stand­ably, con­flict­ing feel­ings about the move­ment, some­thing mind-blow­ing hap­pened – women started to share their ex­pe­ri­ences of abuse for the first time. Be­cause if we lift the shame and re­move the hu­mil­i­a­tion in or­der to help women speak out, then maybe we can work on re­duc­ing the num­ber of our sis­ters that we lose to in­ti­mate femi­cide. Maybe?

It’s some­thing ac­tress So­nia Mbele feels strongly about too. A close friend of Karabo’s, So­nia wishes Karabo had found the courage to speak to her about any abuse that she may have suf­fered. In­tent on set­ting an ex­am­ple of courage, So­nia has spo­ken to COSMO’s Sarah Brow­ingde Vil­liers to open up, for the first time, about her own story of abuse. You’ll find that on page 58.

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