Ilitha Labantu and interfaith organisations hosted a prayer service outside Parliament as a faith-based response to the scourge of violence perpetrated against women and children. Photo: Supplied / Ilitha Labantu
Cape Town – The body of a badly beaten young woman found in Gugulethu has been identified as that of a 24-year-old from Mfuleni who had been living in Langa.

The body was found in a field on Friday morning with a rock on her face. The woman was wearing black jeans, white sneakers and a white hoodie.

Advocacy group Ilitha Labantu, which is working with the family of the victim, said her body was identified by her family yesterday at a Salt River mortuary.

The organisation did not divulge further information, saying the family needed space to grieve and inform other relatives.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said no arrests had yet been made.

This incident comes as two more women were killed at the weekend and as the country was reeling from the murders of other women last month, including 14-year-old Janika Mallo, first-year students Jesse Hess of UWC and Uyinene Mrwetyana of UCT.

Outside Parliament yesterday, interfaith organisations held a prayer service in response to the continuing abuse, femicide and rape of women and children. The religious leaders also prayed for the government and for healing for the bereaved families.

Ilitha Labantu founder Mandisa Monakali, 59, said they had dealt with more than 50 cases of sexual violence against women and children in the past months.

“For three decades we have been dealing with violence directed at women, and the statistics are getting worse. It is absurd that we have so many cases. 

"The government needs to act immediately because they are failing victims, because perpetrators are walking the streets and they soon become reoffenders.

“When justice is not served, it’s organisations like Ilitha Labantu that have to pick up the pieces and try to mend broken families.”

Monakali, a survivor of domestic abuse, established the organisation in the hope of empowering women and girls.

She also wanted to make support services more easily available to victims, as she had to travel far to receive help when she needed it.

Cape Times