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Kimberley - A Kimberley woman, who has been the victim of horrific domestic abuse, was found dead in Promised Land early on Sunday morning. The semi-naked body of Bettie Thenza, 33, was discovered in the street after she was allegedly strangled to death by her boyfriend.
According to neighbours, Thenza was involved in an abusive relationship and the couple often fought. “This fight started on Thursday night. Thenza had several bruises on her neck while the shack they were staying in, was trashed as a result of the argument. Pots and plates littering the floor,” one neighbour told the DFA.
Police spokesman, Lieutenant Sergio Kock, on Sunday confirmed that the Kagisho police were investigating the murder of Thenza.
“The body was found by a passer-by at approximately 6am. The woman was naked from the waist down and had a scratch mark on her left eye and the eye also appeared to be swollen,” Kock said.
No other visible marks were detected but an autopsy will be done to determine the exact cause of death.
Shortly after the body was discovered, police, following up on information, arrested her boyfriend, aged 31, at the couple’s shanty down the road. The police confiscated bloodstained clothing of suspect and the deceased.
A family member of Thenza’s boyfriend said he was sleeping when a passer-by came to his shack and told him that a body had been found in a manhole. “My wife went out and she started to scream when she realised that it was Thenza.”
According to the relative, he saw the suspect at a local tavern on Saturday night where he asked for money. “The relationship between the two was very toxic and they always fought when they had been drinking.”
He claimed that the boyfriend had a history of violence and had also been abusive to previous girlfriends. “We are shocked at the murder but we are not surprised as this man had a history of violence. He was always looking for a fight and people in the community feared him.
“During their fights, Thenza would sometimes run to us for protection and sleep at our house. That made him very angry and he often threatened to kill us and burn down our shack.”
However, he also claimed that Thenza, on a previous occasion, set her shack alight when she found her boyfriend with another woman.
It is believed that the police found the clothes that both Thenza and her boyfriend were wearing on the Saturday night.
“The clothes were found at the back of the shack and had been burnt.”
The shocked community of Promised Land vowed that if the suspect gets bail they would resort to mob justice because they do not want him back in the community.
“He must be locked away in prison with other murderers. He is always looking for a fight. We will mobilise community members and protest at his bail hearing to make sure that he is denied bail.
“We cannot have murderers within our community,” several of them said.
Thenza has a child who is staying with the grandparents in Ritchie.
The MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Patrick Mabilo, on Sunday said that he strongly condemns the senseless and barbaric killing of a woman, allegedly by her lover.
“It is unfortunate and regrettable to have learned of such an incident, especially during this Safety Month of February where we encourage communities to partner with the police in fighting the scourge of crime.
“We must continue to intensify our war against brutal and merciless killings of innocent people in our communities. Our society is being robbed on a daily basis of its innocent youth and mothers by perpetrators who have no regard and any respect for human life.
“We have faith in our justice system. We need to ensure that such monsters, who continue to degrade other human beings in our communities, are removed from society for life.
“It is important as a society to intensively educate our children about family values to avoid such crimes in future. We would also like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt sympathy and profound condolences to the bereaved family members and friends of the deceased,” Mabilo said.
Anyone with information regarding the murder is asked to contact Detective Warrant Officer Anthony Shuping on 078 194 7402.
The suspect is due to appear in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court soon.
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