Two KZN women killed despite growing calls condemning gender-based violence
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) student and popular model Sinethemba Ndlovu, 22, was stabbed to death by a man after working at a car-spinning event in Msinga, northern KZN, at the weekend.
In a separate incident, a mother of two, Thandeka Zikhali, 22, was killed with a panga in front of her children on Friday in Mtunzini, near Richards Bay. It is believed that Zikhali’s 4-month-old baby was strapped on her back during the incident.
UKZN said it was shocked and saddened by the death of Ndlovu, who was studying towards a Bachelor of Administration degree.
Reports indicate that Ndlovu was attacked by a man in the area of Sidakeni Reserve in Msinga, and rushed to hospital where she died on Sunday.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said no arrests had been made.
UKZN spokesperson Ashton Bodrick said: “We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sinethemba Ndlovu and wish them strength through this difficult time.
“Gender-based violence and any other form of violence has no place in our society. The nation is at one in its revulsion of violence against women, and especially of our youth.”
On Facebook, the UKZN Miss Varsity Shield team offered their sympathy to Ndlovu’s family. Ndlovu was one of the top 10 finalists in the UKZN Miss Varsity Shield.
The post read: “Ndlovu was brutally stabbed by a man who forced himself on to her while she was working at an event in Msinga. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Ndlovu family and friends. We wish them strength through this difficult time. #AmINext is not just a trend. Women are still being killed every day. RIP Sine.”
Gender violence specialist Lisa Vetten said the collapse of the country’s health-care system, worsening economic and political conditions, and the fragility of family protection services, were contributing factors in the increase in gender-based violence.
“Policing of violence has basically collapsed and the health-care system has failed those with mental health conditions. There’s no access for the vast majority to mental health-care treatment, while child and family protection services are so fragile right now,” she said.
Vetten said gender-based violence had always existed in South Africa, and reflected “the real sense of anxiety and fear experienced by women”.
“Why have we taken so long to realise that this is a huge problem? It’s because there’s so much going wrong and we can’t ignore that everything our country is experiencing is linked,” Vetten said.