Don't keep your relationships secret, warns Sibongiseni Gabada’s sister after funeral
Cape Town - Sibongiseni Gabada’s youngest sister Tammy was still in disbelief after her funeral in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, today that someone could have brutally murdered a person who was "so humble and giving".
Gabada's half-naked, decomposing body was found under old wooden planks behind her boyfriend's shack, stuffed into a sports bag, after she had gone missing for two weeks.
The charges against the accused, Sithembele Klaas, were provisionally withdrawn last week before he was rearrested. He is expected to apply for bail.
Tammy concurred with the views of undertaker Nelly Tom, who said at the funeral 36-year-old Gabada's body had been "senselessly violated" and that South African women should be careful about who they date.
From her sister's experience, Tammy believes women must inform their family when they start seeing someone new.
"I didn't know anything about her relationship with that guy and we knew nothing about him. My sister usually shares everything with me but she didn't tell me that she was in a new relationship."
It was only later through her friends that Gabada's family got to hear that she had allegedly been in an abusive relationship.
"When one goes out, it's important to inform your family where you are going and who the guy is and not keep it secret. South African women need to take better care of themselves.
"I have so many special memories of my sister. She was humble, a straight talker, a good organiser and liked to give advice to help other people."
While Gabada's funeral was being held, Mlondi Ntlangulela dropped his bail bid in the Mossel Bay Magistrate's Court after being charged with the murder of his former girlfriend and mother of two of his children, Naledi Phangindawo, who had been hacked to death. He will be back in court on July 8.
"South African men should be there to protect us, love us and show us understanding instead of beating us up and trying to control our lives," said Tammy.
On Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned a "surge in murders of women and children" since the country entered level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown on 1 June.
Citing the case of Gabada, Ramaphosa said survivors of gender-based violence believe the criminal justice is failing them.
Despite Gabada's boyfriend allegedly confessing to the murder, the case against him was initially dropped, Ramaphosa said, reportedly due to a lack of evidence.