Cape Town – Advocacy groups have expressed outrage after three young women were killed in two days, while a CPUT nursing student was raped and left in the bushes next to the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court.
On Friday, Nwabisa Mthumeni of Khayelitsha was found at the Wolfgat Nature Reserve, 16km from her home, with gunshot wounds. The 31-year-old was taken to hospital, where she died from her injuries.
According to police, Mthumeni was abducted from her home in Site C the same day by men who first shot and wounded her 33-year-old boyfriend.
The body of another woman, yet to be identified but believed to be in her thirties, was found in an open field in Gugulethu on Friday morning.
She was found with a rock over her badly beaten face. She wore black jeans, white sneakers and a white hoodie.
On Saturday, a 27-year-old woman was killed in alleged gang crossfire in Lotus River.
Meanwhile, CPUT suspended all academic programmes at its campuses today to host a gender-based violence programme to highlight the issue after a first-year nursing sciences student was kidnapped on Tuesday while leaving through the pedestrian gate of Tygerberg Hospital in Parow.
She was raped in the bushes next to the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court.
Nomawethu Sbukwana, spokesperson for Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo, said the 21-year-old was attacked by three unknown men.
“The men had beaten and raped her and left her in the bushes. She made her way to find help. The student was released and received medical treatment and counselling at Karl Bremer Hospital’s Thuthuzela Care Centre. We condemn these senseless, brutal attacks,” Sbukwana said.
CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said: “The fact that a heinous crime like this can happen to one of our own, despite the current anger around gender-based violence in the province and country, beggars belief. We’re grateful to the first responders like the Thuthuzela Care Centre and Karl Bremer Hospital.”
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said all these cases were under investigation and no arrests had been made.
The incidents came as the Hess and Mrwetyana families held funerals for their daughters, both 19, on Saturday.
Jesse Hess, a first-year UWC theology student, and her grandfather Chris, 85, were found dead in their home in Victoria Street, Parow, on August 30. Her service was held in Ravensmead.
The funeral service of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a UCT Film and Media Studies first-year student, was held in her hometown in Eastern Cape. Mrwetyana was raped and killed allegedly by a 42-year-old man who worked at Clareinch Post Office. The alleged killer buried her in a shallow grave in Lingelethu West, Khayelitsha.
NGO Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal our Women) founder Lucinda Evans called on government institutions, especially schools and universities, to annually screen employees.
“We call for femicide and gender-based violence to be prioritised urgently. We're aware of the measures president Cyril Ramaphosa announced and demand a time frame for all promises made.”