Pregnant mom of three found dead, 'strangled' in Chatsworth
Durban - AS South Africa marks Women’s Month with events and campaigns to stop gender-based violence (GBV), a 29-year-old pregnant mother of three was found dead at an informal settlement in Bayview, Chatsworth.
A resident said she was shocked. “When I heard about it, I went and saw her lying there yesterday morning.”
The resident, who asked not to be named because she feared for her safety, said when she arrived Nondumiso Khumalo was lying lifeless on the ground. She apparently saw signs that indicated Khumalo had been strangled and said the young mother’s skirt was pulled down to her knees.
“She was initially found by people who come to use the public showers in the area early in the morning. The sight shocked me as this is something you see on TV and never think that you will see in real life.”
The resident said the community lived in fear as the area had a high crime rate. She felt progress was not being made when it came to the safety of women and their rights.
According to AfricaCheck, the latest crime statistics show 2695 women were killed in 2019/2020 - one woman was murdered every three hours.
Khumalo’s brother Thabani said he received a call early yesterday from his sister’s neighbour saying Khumalo was dead.
“I could not believe it and was confused as to what happened.”
He questioned people about when they last saw Khumalo, and they apparently said she was last seen on Wednesday night leaving a friend’s place after watching television there.
Thabani said his sister was six months’ pregnant when she died.
“Nondumiso was someone who enjoyed being around people, and our family is hurt by her death.”
She leaves three children - two girls and a boy, aged 11, 5 and 2.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said: “It is alleged that a 29-year-old pregnant woman was consuming liquor with friends at an informal settlement on Unity Avenue in Bayview on Wednesday night.
“(Yesterday) at 6am she was found dead with no injuries. Bayview police are investigating an inquest and circumstances around the incident and a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.”
When asked about the signs of strangulation allegedly seen by witnesses, the police did not comment.
Javu Baloyi, a Commission for Gender Equality spokesperson, said the time had passed for politicians to pay lip service to tackling GBV, and action should be taken to give people confidence knowing the problem was being tackled.
He said men who abused women should be arrested.
Baloyi pointed to the impact of the violence on the families of victims of gender-based violence and wondered what would happen to Khumalo’s children now.