An Atteridgeville mother wants to know why the man she claims stabbed her daughter, leading to her death 18 months ago, is walking free.
Although witnesses have said they saw the attack on Caroline Machaka in November 2012 and although she filed a complaint of assault against her boyfriend, he has not been charged.
Machaka’s mother, Annah, other relatives, and members of the ANC Women’s and Veterans’ Leagues gathered outside the Atteridgeville Magistrate’s Court where an inquest into Caroline’s death was under way on Thursday.
Caroline and her boyfriend were at a tavern in Atteridgeville on November 14, 2012, when they began to argue.
According to her mother, Caroline was assaulted by her boyfriend outside the tavern.
Onlookers did not intervene as they were afraid of being attacked.
“He took her to his house, where he beat her, stabbed her and left her for dead,” Machaka said.
“His sisters saw what happened and took her to hospital, then came to tell me.
“I found my child with a blue, swollen face and stitches all over her body from deep stab wounds.”
Caroline was discharged from hospital a week later.
Her mother said Caroline filed a complaint of assault against her boyfriend.
She died two weeks later.
“I want answers. Why was he never arrested? She opened a case of assault and pictures of her bruised, battered body were given to police,” Machaka said.
“Witnesses told police what happened, but today he comes to court, a free man with an arrogant attitude, just to see what’s happening in the case.”
Machaka called on national police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, as a mother, woman and the person in charge of police, for assistance.
“What makes (the boyfriend) so special that he can kill someone and walk free?
“Justice must be served. It’ll never bring back my daughter, but I’ll know the one who hurt her is behind bars.”
Machaka said her daughter’s boyfriend had been chased away by ANC Women’s League members yesterday after what they said had been his arrogant outburst. League members carried placards, one of which said: “Women, break the silence of abuse, it could lead to death.”
League member Nomvula Gobu said: “We want justice. Why can’t the police do their job to put criminals behind bars? We’re here because we want woman abuse to stop.”
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Medupe Simisuku said post-mortem reports gave the cause of Caroline’s death as pulmonary thrombosis.
The inquest had been postponed to April 10 so a forensic pathologist could be asked to testify.