Fear after wome n’s mur­der

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By KATHRYN CLEARY

On Wed­nes­day morn­ing (15 Au­gust) some 30 Joza res­i­dents gath­ered in protest out­side the Mag­is­trate’s Court in High Street. Res­i­dents held signs read­ing “Stop The Vi­o­lence” and “Break­ing The Si­lence of Killing”. This in re­sponse to at least three re­cent re­ports of mur­ders of women in Gra­ham­stown, and one at­tempted mur­der.

The pro­test­ers de­manded that the sus­pect in the grue­some mur­der of Noloy­iso Speel­man, whose body was found, burned, in a ditch be­tween N Street and Scotts Farm on 6 Au­gust be de­nied bail.

Res­i­dents handed over a signed pe­ti­tion to the Chief Mag­is­trate em­pha­sis­ing “no bail for per­pe­tra­tors of rape and mur­der”. Ne­va­dia Adri­aan-Daniels led the pros­e­cu­tion and the man aban­doned his bail ap­pli­ca­tion. He will ap­pear in court on 15 September.

Speel­man’s mur­der is not the only in­ci­dence of vi­o­lence re­ported in re­cent weeks. Gro­cott’s Mail has re­ceived un­con­firmed re­ports of other mur­ders.

De­spite Au­gust be­ing Women’s Month, it is clear that women in East Gra­ham­stown have faced ex­treme vi­o­lence and vic­tim­i­sa­tion. Adri­aanDaniels, speak­ing to Gro­cott’s Mail about what ap­peared to be a re­cent spike in crime, sug­gested that such cases of vi­o­lent crime were of­ten drug re­lated.

On 12 Au­gust, SAPS re­leased a state­ment re­quest­ing pub­lic in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the pos­si­ble at­tempted mur­der of a young woman found in L Street at 4.30am in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

The se­verely bat­tered woman in her twen­ties was picked up by am­bu­lance with up­per body in­jury and pos­si­ble sex­ual as­sault. Res­i­dents of L Street ques­tioned by Gro­cott’s Mail were not aware of the at­tack on the woman, and found it strange to hear of such an in­ci­dent on their seem­ingly quiet street.

Ward 7 coun­cil­lor Malibongwe Khubalo said that he had heard about the case through Gro­cott’s Mail, but no one he spoke to in the area knew about the in­ci­dent. “I sent a query for in­for­ma­tion about it to ward com­mit­tee mem­bers, but none re­sponded and it seems they also hadn’t heard of the in­ci­dent,” he said. SAPS is still search­ing for in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the at­tack and the vic­tim re­mains in hos­pi­tal.

Res­i­dents in the area have spo­ken about other re­cent in­stances of gen­der-based vi­o­lence, but SAPS were un­able to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion aside from the L Street in­ci­dent and Speel­man's case.

Khubalo said a more vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence would im­prove safety in the area.“The po­lice should align their op­er­a­tional sec­tors with the mu­nic­i­pal wards,” he said. “That way they would be able to al­lo­cate a cer­tain num­ber of vans per ward.”

Re­spond­ing to this, SAPS spokesper­son Cap­tain Mali Goven­der said, “The sug­ges­tions are ex­tremely valuable. It is en­cour­aged that the com­mu­nity be in­volved with the com­mu­nity po­lice fo­rums at sta­tions where such in­put and sug­ges­tions are tabled.”

“The Com­mu­nity Po­lice Fo­rum is held monthly. We are con­tin­u­ally urg­ing the com­mu­nity to bring forth in­for­ma­tion on crime and crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity. The fo­rum ad­dresses our ‘hot spot’ ar­eas and works closely with the SAPS to curb crime.”

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