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Langa motorcade highlights issue of GBV and femicide in the community

GBVF Monitors giving out pamphlets containing information about domestic violence. litha Labantu in collaboration with Langa police and various civil society organizations hosted Uthuleleni GBV motorcade in Langa. Picture: Supplied

GBVF Monitors giving out pamphlets containing information about domestic violence. litha Labantu in collaboration with Langa police and various civil society organizations hosted Uthuleleni GBV motorcade in Langa. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 28, 2022

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Cape Town - Freedom from gender-based violence (GBV) became the rallying call for Langa activists and organisations who distributed information pamphlets during a motorcade through the area.

Ilitha Labantu, in collaboration with local community organisations and the police, hosted the Uthuleleni motorcade in a bid to encourage communities to take a stand against the issue of GBV and femicide (GBVF) plaguing the area.

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The motorcade was also arranged in response to an alarming number of sexual assault reports received by Ilitha Labantu from the Joe Slovo area following the fire that displaced residents last week.

Langa has also been plagued by incidents of femicide in the past months, with violent incidents that left the community in shock.

Last month, 37-year-old Nelisa Mjamba was shoved from the third floor of a former men’s Transnet hostel known as Ekwezi in the area, allegedly by a jealous ex-boyfriend.

The incident reportedly took place after the two had argued about the accused perpetrator allegedly forcing her to sleep with him.

GBVF Monitors giving out pamphlets containing information about domestic violence. litha Labantu in collaboration with Langa police and various civil society organisations, hosted the Uthuleleni GBV motorcade in Langa. Picture: Supplied

Mjamba’s death was almost a month after the body of 26-year-old Asiphe Nqoloba was discovered in a shallow canal behind Sanitizer informal settlement, an area behind the hostel.

A day after that, 25-year-old Sinawo Nono was shot dead when an unidentified suspect knocked on her door and opened fire.

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Abongile Mabusela, 37, was shot and killed by two unknown men near her home at Old Flats as she returned from church earlier in the year.

Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said reports received by the organisation regarding violence and abuse of women in Joe Slovo were worrying, especially under the current circumstances.

Monakali said the motorcade was meant to bring a sense of urgency to cases of gender-based violence against women and children. He said over the past couple of years, there had been a significant increase in cases within the Langa community.

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Monakali said with the worrying number of reported incidents, the organisation was in the process of opening a satellite office in the area.

Ward 51 SA National Civic Organisation deputy president Zanele Mabizela raised concern over sexual offenders, whom she said were released into the communities and had been involved in the escalating femicide and sexual assault cases, not only in the area but also neighbouring areas and the province.

The co-ordinator of the Langa Community Advice Office, Anele Gqasana, said: “Police response on cases of GBVF have improved and this is motivating.”

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The newly appointed Langa SAPS Visible Police Commander Sakhiwo Dulungana, who encouraged residents to report directly to him when they were not satisfied with the handling of GBVF cases, cited alcohol abuse as the main challenge in the community.

Dulungana also encouraged residents to make use of the neighbourhood watch and the Community Policing Forum in ensuring that the police were performing their functions, and that they were held accountable. He called on different community stakeholders to foster a working relationship which he said must not be underestimated.

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