To commemorate June 16, Khayelitsha religious leaders yesterday held a day of prayer against gender-based violence and femicide in Khayelitsha Makhaza. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
To commemorate June 16, Khayelitsha religious leaders yesterday held a day of prayer against gender-based violence and femicide in Khayelitsha Makhaza. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Residents hold prayer service to end GBV after murders of two women in Khayelitsha

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jun 17, 2021

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Cape Town - Following the killing of two women in Khayelitsha in the past three weeks, Nkanini residents held a prayer service and called for an end to gender-based violence and femicide.

The body of 18-year-old Sinovuyo Magetya was found in a neighbour’s shack on May 30 after she had been missing for four days. The body of a lesbian, Lulama Mvandaba, was discovered by her neighbours after they broke down her shack door.

Her family believes she was targeted because of her sexuality and as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Ward councillor Xolisa Ngwekazi said the residents wanted to send a strong message to the perpetrators that they were not part of the community.

“We have engaged in numerous means of fighting gender-based violence but we have decided to include religious organisations in our fight against this scourge. We are of the view that anyone who is a danger to a society must be kept where they belong, in prison, so that we create safer communities for our women and children,” he said.

Ngwekazi called on the community to bring back ubuntu and to care for each other.

“What is concerning about both these incidents is that they were both witnessed by residents.

“According to reports, Magetya was heard crying for help, but people never bothered to enquire what was happening, while Mvandaba was assaulted in front of a crowd, went home bruised, but no one cared to follow her to ensure that she was fine until she was found days later, dead.

“Police can do much, but as the community who witness all these incidents and are usually the first responders, we can do more,” he said.

Lizalise Christ Ambassadors president Zanewabo Madlebe said young people needed to accept their responsibilities and called for men to join the fight against femicide.

“Young people should seek an alternative to how they are doing things. This includes finding a better way of celebrating Youth Day. Instead of consuming alcohol, which later fuels incidents where we see some of them getting killed and raped, they should look at ways that will be more developmental,” he said.

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