Gogo Jabulile Sibeko, 68 is living in fear after her own brother allegedly abused her verbally, mentally, emotionally and physically.
The vulnerable senior citizen said that in some instances, the abuse got so bad that she feared being sexually harassed by her brother, Freddy Sibeko, 60.
Sibeko, from Wattville in Ekurhuleni, is a pensioner who raised her plight with an NPO, Kathorus Parliament, which assisted her in getting police to arrest her unemployed sibling.
Sibeko and her brother live in a family home, and she described her stay there as “very stressful” due to the abuse.
According to a protection order dated 2023-01-30, Sibeko has reported abuse to police and applied for a court order, where she said a certain police officer from Actonville police station was not attending to her case.
“He (her brother) is still abusive mentally, he steals from my room, verbally abusive, cursing and talking explicit words that include sex, and it makes me uncomfortable because I don’t feel safe at home,” said Sibeko in the protection order.
She also said she was on medication to help her sleep, that her heart was affected and she was often unwell.
Gauteng Provincial SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Mavela Masondo confirmed that a case of failure to comply with the court order was opened at Actonville police station.
“The 60-year-old suspect was arrested and appeared at Benoni Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 17 October 2023,” said Masondo.
Kathorus Parliament is a group of active and responsible citizens who are non-partisan; an accountability structure “whether politically, socially or economically”, that is registered with the Department of Social Development and based in Palm Ridge.
The group’s representative, Pearl Mazibuko, said after learning the suffering by Sibeko, they immediately “followed all protocols”, including calling the police, hence the arrest of the suspect.
“We have escalated the matter to the NPA and are awaiting to hear where the perpetrator could be currently. They confirmed that he was arrested,” said Mazibuko.
According to the UN, globally around one in six people aged 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year.
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said earlier this year that South Africa is in support of the UN International Plan of Action, which acknowledges elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.