Thousands of protesters, mostly women, protesting against recent violent attacks on women and children yesterday clashed with police outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – The body of yet another missing young woman has been discovered dumped. 

A pending inquest will have to confirm whether 17-year-old Sandisile Mona of Plettenberg Bay was murdered because her body was badly decomposed.

This as thousands of protesters, mostly women, descended on the city centre to protest against the spate of violent attacks on women and children.

A passer-by walking his dog in Ladywood alerted the police to the body of Sandisile. The teenager went missing on April 13, and her skeletal remains were discovered on August 5.

She was last seen alive when her grandmother, whom police did not name on Wednesday night, left their home to attend a funeral in KwaNokuthula, and on her return Sandisile was gone.

Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said: “Following the discovery of the body, an inquest docket was opened for further investigation.

“As the investigation unfolded, DNA samples were obtained from the mother of the victim that later, during private analyses, proved to be a match to the DNA sample retrieved from the remains of the missing girl.

“The docket might be changed to murder should evidence emerge showing that foul play could have been involved. So far no arrest has been made.”

Further details were not available last night and the family could not be reached in the informal settlement where they live.

The news of the recovery of the latest body broke as protesters, including schoolchildren and students, clashed with police outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre where more than 1000 delegates attended the World Economic Forum Africa yesterday.

Police said a 24-year-old man had been arrested for public violence in the CBD. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

This was after a spate of rape and murders in recent weeks claimed the lives of Uyinene Mrwetyana, Jesse Hess, Leighandré Jegels, Janika Mallo, Lynette Volschenk and Meghan Cremer, among others.

Clad in black with messages on placards against gender-based violence, protesters broke through police barricades to get to the entrance of the venue.

Police attempted to gain control of the situation with a water-cannon truck, stun grenades and tear gas.

By peak-hour traffic the protesting crowd had blocked the Waterfront highway and were forcibly removed.

Police spokesperson André Traut said a 24-year-old man had been arrested for public violence.

Earlier in the day, thousands of people had gathered at the gates of Parliament calling for a state of emergency to be declared, and for President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the protesters.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu were heckled as they tried to address the incensed protesters, who insisted they wanted Ramaphosa.

One protester climbed onto the Louis Botha statue, where she held up a placard calling for the castration of rapists.

Protesters broke through police barricades to get to the entrance of the venue where the World Economic Forum for Africa summit is being held at the CTICC. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Moments later, with red paint on her hands, the protester placed a hand on the genitals of the horse on which Botha sat, as the crowd erupted in support.

They joined hands while ululating and singing Struggle songs.

UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng addressed the protesters outside Parliament, saying, “We do not feel safe. The passing of (Uyinene) has reminded us of how unsafe our schools are.

“Even public places like the SA Post Office are dangerous to us. That is why we are here. We are here to say to the men who have joined us today, that we want you to stand with us and support us,” Phakeng said.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo later also condemned the murders as senseless killings that must be met with the full might of the law.

Modise said: “It is shocking and disturbing to hear about such intensity of violence perpetrated against women by men.”

They were part of a Women’s Parliament held in the National Assembly last week, that called for the declaration of gender-based violence as a national crisis in South Africa. 

Cape Town High School learner Joy Mbesi, 15, who joined the crowd said: “Women are suffocated in their own country, as we do not feel comfortable and men are not to be trusted.”

She joined in the call from other protesters to bring back the death penalty.

Meanwhile, police have offered a R6 0000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of Sihle Qhula, also known as Shane Abrahams, aged 26, from the Samora Machel community.

He is wanted for several serious and violent crimes, including murder and attempted murder committed between April and last month.

Anyone with information can call Colonel Makhaya Mkabile on 082 222 6744 or anonymously Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or alternatively SMS Crime Line on 32211.

Cape Times