‘Step up fight to halt violence against women’
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Cape Town - Justice and Constitutional Development regional head Hisham Mohamed has called for civil society and the government to intensify its efforts in curbing the scourge of violent crime against women and children.
This came after the murder of 22-year-old Sulnita Manho, who was found murdered outside a building in Bredasdorp at the weekend.
A witness had alerted the police, who found the mother-of-one lying on her stomach, her underwear halfway down her legs and her head covered with blood. A bloodied stone was found on the scene on the edge of the town.
Mohamed said he will be visiting Bredasdorp to check if the programmes put in place had an impact on the levels of violence against women and children.
“We are very shocked about the discovery of a young woman who was found murdered. Both government and civil society need to intensify their efforts in curbing crime. Government must provide support and funding to organisations that assist people in need,” he said.
Manho is the fifth female murder victim in Bredasdorp in just over three years.
Nineteen-year-old Dalwigo Ward appeared at the Bredasdorp Magistrate’s Court on a rape and murder charge on Monday. The case was postponed to April 11 for bail information.
Human rights lawyer and founder of the NGO Rock Girl, India Baird, said they will continue to advocate for the end of violence against women and girls.
As part of an initiative by Rock Girl, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, and the SA Board for Sheriffs to honour the lives of Anene Booysen, 17, five-year-old Kayde and Elda, 14, the Safer Space Bench was unveiled outside the Bredasdorp Magistrate’s Court last year.
In a statement, Rock Girl said: “Girls are perhaps the most valuable asset that South Africa has today. Yet as a country, we continue to look away as girls are raped and murdered across the country. Rock Girl sends our support to the family of the young woman who was murdered this weekend – and to all those girls who live in fear in Bredasdorp, and around the country.”
The girls said they demand a national budget to end the culture of violence, providing education and reproductive health care in schools.
“As girls, we know how it feels to walk alone to school in the dark, to be afraid to go to the toilet at night, to worry about taking the bus or taxi home. We want to be safe, everywhere we live,” Rock Girl said.
Khayelitsha cluster priority forum activist Siwe Coka said Bredasdorp was becoming a “ground or haven” of young children to be murdered.
“Anene Booysen, Sinoxolo Mafevuka, Franziska (Blochliger), Sulnita (Manho) and Amanda Duze, to me it’s all the same. There is a structural problem that needs participation. We need to support those women and children in Bredasdorp as well,” she said.
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