Twins Siphokazi and Nosipho Mandleleni were as close as two peas in a pod. While the twins enjoyed a close relationship with their mother Noxolo and two younger sisters the twins definitely had a special bond.
Given their close bond, it wasn't unexpected that Siphokazi would repeatedly be drawn into the fights between Nosipho and her politician boyfriend Patrick Wisani. In fact, Wisani had on more than one occasion lashed out violently when Siphokazi tried to defend her sister. Even their mother eventually learned of the troubled relationship between Nospiho and the former Hillbrow ANC Youth League leader.
Despite their violent history, nobody expected that the relationship between Nosipho and Patrick would end so tragically.
On November 21, 2016, 24-year-old Nosipho was found dead at the house that she and Wisani were staying. She had been beaten repeatedly with a sjambok and a broomstick. Her body was found by Siphokazi, who was living in the same house.
During the trial, the court heard how Noxolo found her daughter’s bloodied clothes in a bucket with cleaning rags, allegedly placed there after Wisani had washed Nosipho’s body and dressed her in clean clothes after the attack. Siphokazi also testified that Wisani had threatened to “kill you like I did your sister” if she testified against him.
Wisani was convicted of Nosipho's murder and of assaulting Siphokazi and handed a 20-year prison sentence. While handing down judgment the judge said: "The evidence in this case was that the deceased was beaten several times, like a slave master would beat a slave, the clothing was changed and other clothing was put on the deceased."
The fact that Nosipho's killer is behind bars is cold comfort for her twin sister and mother or her child who is growing up with its father.
Nosipho will never celebrate another Women's Month, birthday or Christmas. She will never get to see her child grow up or the dreams she had for herself fulfilled.
For Nosipho's sake and the sake of women everywhere, if you know somebody who has committed an act of violence against a woman Don't Look Away.
If you know a young woman's life is in danger, Don't Look Away.
If you are able to help prevent another tragedy, Don't Look Away.
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