Precious Ramabulana murder: We need to teach boys that NO means NO
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The chilling confession by 29-year-old Aubrey Manaka on how and why he killed Capricorn TVET student Precious Ramabulana has exacerbated the struggle of women and young girls in this country in their fight against gender-based violence and femicide.
On Wednesday, Manaka, through his lawyer, gave the Polokwane High Court in Limpopo a detailed account of why he had abruptly ended the young woman's life.
According to him, he went to Ramabulana's home in the wee hours of the morning on November 24 last year and told the 21-year-old that he had feelings for her.
When she wouldn't open the door, he forcefully gained entry through the window and spoke to her.
When she would have none of it, he raped her and then stabbed her multiple times - all because she rejected his proposal.
“I did this because I was afraid she would reject me if I proposed love to her during daylight," Manaka said.
Although this horrifying confession has by a small measure assisted Ramabulana's family gain some closure on events that transpired that fateful morning, it also leaves them with a sense of wonder - why a grown man would bluntly refuse to accept their daughter's "no".
Many times, teachers in primary schools have attempted to inculcate a sense of responsibility in young boys and girls and have often used the phrase "no means no" to drive the point home.
Households have also taught young children about the importance of saying no.
Why then do we still have individuals in the country who will not accept this a clear and simple "no"?
It is easy to deduce that Manaka may not have been raised well or taught simple human values while growing up, and if so, we then have to wonder how many more Manaka's walk the streets of South Africa?
This tragedy, like so many others of women who have been sexually assaulted, reflects the continuous crisis facing many female citizens in this country.
Despite money being allocated to assist victims, we ought to find a permanent solution to end the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide and this starts by looking closely at the functions of the Department of Social Development.
We need to establish what happened to social worker operations, why interventions are not being made and what needs to be done in order to end this scourge.
If we don't tackle these social ills as a matter of urgency, each day we will encounter a horrific death - more brutal than the last.
* Noni Mokati is the Gauteng regional political content editor for Independent Media.