Karabo Mokoena’s body was found by a passer-by in a patch of veld in Bramley, Johannesburg, on April 29th 2017. Acid had been poured over her and she had been necklaced by her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe. Another woman, Lerato Moloi was killed in Naledi, Soweto by two men and her body was found with a rock on top of it by someone who was cutting grass in the area. At five months pregnant, Jeanette Cindi was raped by her boyfriend, soaked with petrol and set alight by a group of five men in Tshepisong. The naked body of Stacha Arendse, an 11 year old, was found next to a sports complex in Mitchell’s Plain in March and her neighbour was arrested for her murder. Sergeant Sthembile Mdluli, a policewoman, was killed and her male friend led the police to where he had dumped her body which was close to Sabie in Mpumalanga.
In Pretoria Meisi Molefe’s body was found burned in Hammanskraal, her boyfriend was arrested. A three year old Courtney Pieters was raped twice and killed, her body was found in a grave next to an unused railroad in Epping. Her killer was renting in her family’s house. Bongeka Phungula was found dead in Tladi, Soweto. She was raped and shot. The body of Thapelo Ramorotong was found in a burnt car after her boyfriend had claimed that the car had exploded and he could not get her out of the car. Popi Qwabe was shot in Naledi, Soweto. She later died in hospital. The body of Nicola Pienaar was found in a shallow grave in her boyfriend’s parents’ yard. She was six months pregnant at the time of her death. In Boipatong, Mananki Annah Boys was killed and her body was left to decompose for days in a shack. Mananki was stabbed and set alight and her murderer? You guessed it, her boyfriend.
All the women mentioned in this article do not even begin to show a true reflection of the attack South African men have launched against women in this country. If you were exhausted by reading all the above names you should also be exhausted by the silence we have perpetuated in favour of women abuse. Women being abused have become a norm in South Africa and the silence that comes with it appears to have become an associated characteristic. We all shake our heads when we hear the news and remark, “another one?” But that’s where our concern ends, perhaps we might follow the story when it is still hot on the news but after that, it is old until the next woman or little girl is raped, killed, or both. It all starts with speaking out, the more we speak out about these atrocities, the more light and attention given concerning this matter so that we are able to take steps to make sure that we fight this demon that has lived with us for such a long time.
A study done by the World Health Organisation found that more than 35% of all murders of women globally are reported to be committed by an intimate partner. The WHO found that not only is intimate partner femicide the most extreme case of intimate partner violence, it also has a strong and prolonged impact on women in society. It makes an example that “surviving children of women killed by their intimate partners experience long-lasting effects, since they lose one parent to the murder, the other parent to jail, and often have to leave their parental home and adjust to a new environment in which they might be labelled as ‘the child of the murderer’.”
Among other strategies the WHO suggest that “Social and health workers and those in the criminal justice system require training and sensitization to identify girls and women at risk of murder related to men and other family members at risk of perpetrating this femicide.”