File picture: Oscar Farje Gomero/Xinhua
As we head towards Mother’s Day on Sunday, we must spare a thought for another side of the lives of women in SA, writes Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya.

As we head towards Mother’s Day tomorrow, we must spare a thought for another side of the lives of women in South Africa – the disturbingly high rate of women who die at the hands of their intimate partners.

This week’s trending stories are Karabo Mokoena whose charred body was found in an open field in Joburg. Her boyfriend has been arrested for the murder.

Another case relates to former ANC Youth League leader Patrick Wisani who was this week sentenced to 20 years for the murder of his girlfriend, Nosipho Mandleleni whom he sjamboked to death in 2015.

Olympian superstar Oscar Pistorius killing his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013 made international headlines. Thato Kutumela was sentenced to 20 years for murdering Pretoria model Zanele Khumalo, 18, who was five months pregnant with his child. The case relating to businessman Christopher Panayiotou for allegedly masterminding his wife’s killing is ongoing.

We have heard of how the body of Fatima Choonara, 28, was found in her Polokwane home after what was believed to be a robbery. Her husband was later arrested for her murder. Last year, real estate executive Jason Rohde allegedly murdered his wife, Susan, at a luxury Stellenbosch hotel. He was released on bail of more than R1million in September.

These are just a few of the cases that we know of because they made it into the media space. Many other cases go unreported.

The sad and inescapable conclusion is that South Africa is not a safe place for women.

A Department of Justice programme for dialogue on intimate femicide, which could change the way cases of violence against women were reported and filed, held in March, heard that there were nearly 190000 new applications for protection orders last year.

As we shop for Mother’s Day gifts, let us remember that one of the best gifts any mother or woman can have is to feel safe and protected around those they love.

* Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya is the editor of the Pretoria News

Pretoria News