Women under siege from violent criminals, flee Cacadu

Image: 123RF/Artit Oubkaew

Women and children are fleeing from Cacadu, saying they are under siege from criminals who rape and kill them.

They are seeking refuge with their loved ones in other provinces as gender-based violence (GBV) continues unabated, said Emalahleni mayor Nontombizanele Koni.

She was speaking to mourners at the funeral service of Nokholekile Rangana, 81, at KuTshembeyi village in Cacadu on Saturday.

The naked body of granny Rangana was found on November 26 in a pool of blood with her throat slit.

A 24-year-old man was arrested. He will appear in the Cacadu magistrate's court on Tuesday.

“Hundreds of people will be picketing, calling for no bail. This will mark the last day of 16 Days of Activism against GBV,” said Koni.

“KuTshembeyi has been identified as a hotspot for violence against women and children in the Chris Hani district. It is followed by areas such as Kumaqhashu, Qoqodala, Kundonga and Swartwater.”

Koni called on men to protect women and children throughout the year, and not only during the 16 Days of Activism.

“We have seen an alarming number of women and children being raped, killed and abused. Rape incidents happen on a weekly if not daily basis. These leave me as mayor traumatised. This is just too bad and too much to comprehend,” said Koni.

In the 2017-2018 financial year there were 74 recorded rape cases in Cacadu alone.

KuTshembeyi is not far from Zwartwater, where the 56-year-old woman dubbed Lion Mama made national headlines when she stabbed to death one of three men she caught raping her 27-year-old daughter in September 2017. The two other men, who survived, were later sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

The mayor highlighted several cases:

  • Six primary school girls aged between six and 11 were raped by a 29-year-old man in October at KuMaqhashu not far from KuTshembeyi;
  • One of these children was again raped by another man, also in October;
  • A woman was raped by four men in KuMaqhashu;
  • A man was raped by two women at KuMaqhasu;
  • An elderly man was stabbed to death while trying to stop four teenage schoolboys from raping his neighbour's daughter;
  • A church prophet was arrested and charged with raping four girls;
  • A 98-year-old granny was raped and killed in Qoqodala on Easter Friday; and
  • Four girls were ganged raped in KuTshembeyi.

“All these incidents happened between March and November. Resident are leaving the village,” said Koni.

Emalahleni women's caucus chair, Bhadikazi Twala, a KuTshembeyi resident, was shocked at the high rate of attacks on women in her village.

“This is horrible; people do not have respect for human life,” said Twala.

lulamilef@dispatch.co.za


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