Government welcomes harsh sentences for GBV perpetrators as Palesa Madiba’s killer gets 31 years
Government has welcomed the heavy jail sentences handed out to perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV).
This comes after convicted murderer Dumisani Mkhwanazi was yesterday sentenced by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to 31 years in jail for the murder of his niece Palesa Madiba.
Earlier this year, Mkhwanazi was found guilty of killing the University of Johannesburg student on August 12, 2013, after Madiba was last seen at her friend's home in Phiri, Soweto.
The young woman's remains were found buried in a shallow grave at the Mkhwanazi home in 2015.
Mkhwanazi was sentenced to 20 years for murder, three years for theft of a cellphone, eight years for defeating the ends of justice, ten years for the possession of an unlicensed firearm, and two years for the possession of ammunition. Some of the sentences will run concurrently.
As government welcomed the sentence for Mkhwanazi, they also expressed their joy at the recent arrests and sentencing of other perpetrators of GBV; including that of Ntuthuko Shoba, the alleged mastermind behind the murder of 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule, and the arrest of Mackenzie Ratselane, who allegedly stabbed his wife, Lesedi FM current affairs anchor Dimakatso Ratselane, multiple times, almost two weeks ago.
“Cabinet welcomes the arrest of the man who brutally attacked Miss Dimakatso Ratselane,” Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavhen, told the media yesterday.
“Cabinet also welcomes the sentencing of the murderer of the late Tshegofatso Pule, and the arrest of Ntuthuko Shoba, her boyfriend and father of her unborn child for allegedly masterminding her murder.
“We call on all criminal justice systems to ensure justice is served on behalf of Miss Rastalane and the late Miss Pule and other victims of gender-based violence and femicide.”
As GBV remains a persistent issue in the country, the government also called on communities to unite in the fight against the scourge.
“Ending gender-based violence requires all of us to take a stand to stop this scourge. It is a community responsibility and a societal responsibility,” said Ntshavhen.
Meanwhile, Palesa Madiba’s family say they were pleased with the sentence handed out by Judge Prince Manyathi in the Johannesburg court yesterday.
Her mother Khosi Kgalisitwe felt that justice was finally served for her daughter.
“My heart will finally rest. After this, I will go to my daughter’s grave and tell her that the fight has finally been won,” Kgalisitwe told reporters.
“The law still works in South Africa, those mothers must not lose hope. I remained hopeful for seven years. While nothing will bring my daughter back, I am pleased that justice has been served.”
South Africans have also weighed in on the sentencing with many taking to social media to express their joys over the sentencing of Mkhwanazi, and other GBV perpetrators.
@HopetheLord tweeted: “Last friday it was for Tshegofatso Pule and this week we remember #PalesaMadiba. Very sweet. Why can't we end every week like this maar.”
KinziweM tweeted: “Sadly he still gets to live. Indeed, go rest angel...justice has been served. #PalesaMadiba
Some South Africans, however, believed that Madiba’s murderer deserved a harsher sentence.
@Nxuba__Rhudulu tweeted: “Another murder conviction, another lousy sentencing.”
While @dTumza tweeted: “I don't get how our courts work #ViweDalingozi's murderer got 20 years and #PalesaMadiba's gets 31 years. Why not just life sentences?” she asked.
@dnxumalo believes that harsher sentences need to be introduced for murderers in South Africa: “20 years for #tshegofatsopule #palesamadiba, and this is the harsh sentences they talk about? #karabomokoena killer got 32 years. I’m not calling for death sentences, but there should be harsher sentences for killers. Long arm of the law but the sentences are short.”