Deputy minister urges abused women to lay charges

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OLD WOUNDS: Caroline, mother of murdered police constable Francis Rasuge, cries during the memorial service in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, yesterday. Rasuges remains were found last month, after she had been murdered by her boyfriend eight years ago. Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Women should accept that men who abuse them don’t love them and that they are criminals, Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu said yesterday.

Addressing family, friends and police officers in a packed memorial service for slain constable Francis Rasuge in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, Sotyu slated women who failed to press charges against abusive husbands or partners.

“It’s not love, it’s criminal. He (Rasuge’s killer) is not a real man, he is a criminal.”

Sotyu said she had seen too many women report domestic violence and later withdraw the charges because they had reconciled with their partners.

“And when they come back,’’ she said, ‘‘they will abuse you and then you cry and say the police aren’t helping you.”

Rasuge disappeared in August 2004. She was last seen alive with William Nkuna outside a hairdressing salon in Temba.

Nkuna was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005 for Rasuge’s murder, even though her body had not been found.

In March, construction workers discovered bones while laying a foundation at Nkuna’s house. Police confirmed they were Rasuge’s remains.

Sotyu said Nkuna did not just torture the Rasuge family by not telling them where Francis was buried, but was heartless towards his wife.

“He (Nkuna) even tortured his own wife and family, making them live in a place where he had buried Rasuge’s body.

“How many more bodies are in Nkuna’s home?” she said.

Sotyu added that when Nkuna killed Rasuge, it showed his disregard for the law.

“When you kill an officer, you are killing government.”

Sotyu said it angered her that Rasuge was killed in August eight years ago, during women’s month.

And it was symbolic that Rasuge’s remains were found in March – a month set aside to celebrate human rights. That proved that justice had prevailed, she said.

Sotyu urged the Temba community not to hold grudges against Nkuna’s wife or family, but to direct their anger at fighting gender-based violence.

“Even Nkuna’s children should feel ashamed to have a father like him,” she said.

Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said that when women allowed men to abuse them, they were sealing their own fate.

“As women, we always kiss and make up and forgive… you must know that allowing this abuse over a long time will lead to your death.”

Xingwana said Nkuna was a ‘‘brute who deserved to rot in jail’’. – Sapa


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