Cape Town - The Nyanga community, led by women’s movement Baphi Abafazi, took to the streets following two GBVF cases that rocked the area at the start of Women’s Month.
The community has called for justice for a rape victim and the murder of an unidentified woman after her body was found inside a wheelie bin on Monday.
Residents of Sagwityi Street in Crossroads said they were awakened by whistles just after 7am on Monday when a wheelie bin was dumped inside a yard by an identified suspect.
Residents claim the bin-pushing suspect fled and the gruesome discovery of the decomposing female body was subsequently made.
Crush Crime member Patric Mwanda said it was the second incident in which a body was dumped in their area.
“At one stage, one criminal was killed in Zwelitsha, only for his body to be dumped in our area,” Mwanda said. “Our concern is that we haven’t found the victim’s family, and we are currently in pursuit of the perpetrator, who we believe has disrespected our area.
“This has given us a bad reputation and has exposed the safety concerns we have been raising,” he said.
Mwanda said the elderly woman where the body was discovered was still traumatised after she collapsed and hurt her head.
Baphi Abafazi Movement member Nobeka Ngxukuma said they could not allow the start of Women’s Month to be remembered by the onslaught on women.
“This seems to be a norm, as was seen by the killing of young people in taverns in June,” she said.
“We want these perpetrators to be out of the community, as they have proven to be a danger. We are grateful to the mother of the murderer, who came forward to confirm that the wheelie bin and the blanket used to cover the body was hers, and also the neighbours when the rape incident happened.
“The victim is currently traumatised and doesn’t want anyone near her, not even her friends. These actions by the residents give us hope that when we work together we can end criminal elements in our communities,” she said.
Another member, Ntombi Hlaphezulu, said the movement demanded that rape be treated as a high criminal offence with no bail granted to offenders, and that the GBV office in the station be visible and accessible to victims. Hlaphezulu said curfew hours also had to be implemented, especially on weekends.
Nyanga CPF chairperson Dumisani Qwabe said attempts to arrest the murder suspect in June were made after he was approached by police while pushing a wheelie bin. However, residents came to his defence and attacked the police. Qwabe confirmed that the perpetrator was on parole when he committed the crime.
“This is not the time to point fingers at each other, but what is needed is for us as the community to be honest and not stand in the way of the police work,” Qwabe said.
“Had the police arrested him, chances are we would not be talking of a murder case now.
“What is important is for us to go back to the drawing board with the same community and look at ways to correct our actions and ensure that we move forward as a united front seeking to root out crime in the community,” he said.