FEMICIDE WATCH FOR SA MOOTED

UN finds femicide five times higher than the global rate

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - TANKISO MAKHETHA

SOUTH Africa’s femicide rate is five times higher than any other coun­try in the world, and this has com­pelled the United Na­tions to pro­pose a Femicide Watch for the coun­try.

This is ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter of Arts and Cul­ture Nathi Mthethwa, who was speak­ing at the Anti-Femicide Im­bizo at Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto on Fri­day.

The im­bizo was hosted by the Moral Re­gen­er­a­tion Move­ment and the Depart­ment of Arts and Cul­ture in a bid to con­front the scourge of femicide which ap­pears to have swept across the coun­try.

“There are many sur­veys that have been done on this mat­ter and one of the points that have come out is that in South Africa, every eight hours a woman is killed, and half of these women die at the hands of their in­ti­mate part­ners,” he said.

“In­ti­mate-part­ner vi­o­lence is the most com­mon form of vi­o­lence ex­pe­ri­enced by South African part­ners and lead­ing to death. South Africa’s femicide rate is five times more than the global rate and we must be ex­tremely wor­ried.”

Mthethwa said the UN had pro­posed that South Africa have a Femicide Watch.

“It means this mat­ter has reached a global stage and peo­ple are notic­ing, which is noth­ing to be proud of as South Africans,” he said.

Mthethwa men­tioned the names of women who have re­cently been killed against the back­drop of two court cases that were tak­ing place on the same day.

Among them were those of Bongeka Phun­gula and Popi Qwabe, who were found on May 12 and 13 re­spec­tively af­ter they had been shot and killed.

Qwabe, 24, was dis­cov­ered by a passer-by in Naledi on the Fri­day and taken to a nearby hospi­tal, where she died on ar­rival. Phun­gula was found dead in neigh­bour­ing Tladi the next day.

Alec Ma­gaula Mamoth­ame and Sandile Nkosi, who stand ac­cused of mur­der­ing Qwabe and Phun­gula, were granted bail on Fri­day af­ter mag­is­trate Her­man Baden­horst said re­fus­ing bail for the two ac­cused would be un­fair be­cause the State’s case was weak.

Mthethwa also men­tioned the name of Karabo Mokoena, who was al­legedly killed by her for­mer boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe. On Fri­day, Mantsoe de­nied mur­der­ing the 22-year-old, claim­ing she had com­mit­ted sui­cide. He told the court that, upon dis­cov­er­ing Mokoena’s body, he burnt it us­ing petrol‚ a tyre and pool acid‚ say­ing he was not think­ing straight at the time.

A post­mortem is yet to es­tab­lish whether she was dead when she was set alight in a ditch on April 28. Her charred re­mains were dis­cov­ered by

This is noth­ing to be proud of as South Africans

passers-by.

Mantsoe, a for­eign ex­change trader who makes be­tween R25 000 and R50 000 a month, is seek­ing bail of R5 000.

Mthethwa said there should not be any spe­cial con­di­tions for the sus­pects.

“There should be no ex­cuse for them, they ought to face the mu­sic. And we should be in­tol­er­ant as a so­ci­ety to­wards such in­di­vid­u­als.”

Mthethwa said one of the ne­glected fac­tors which con­trib­uted to the scourge of femicide was the fail­ure to recog­nise that the prob­lem fell squarely at the feet of males.

“Part of the prob­lem is that we con­cen­trate on the girl child, when the prob­lem is not with women. The peo­ple who are cre­at­ing prob­lems are male.

“It’s high time we took re­spon­si­bil­ity, as par­ents and as so­ci­ety, in rais­ing our boy child to re­spect women be­cause by the time they are men it’s too late for all of us to change their mind­set.”

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