S/African gov’t concerned about rising GBV, femicide case

The South African government on Wednesday said it had allocated US$1.5 billion towards the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and…

The South African government on Wednesday said it had allocated US$1.5 billion towards the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide and appealed to men to help end the scourge in the country.The government made the appeal in light of the recent murders of a university student and two other women at a time the country was celebrating “Women’s Month” in August. 

A mutilated body of 23-year-old Fort Hare University student Nosicelo Mtebeni was discovered in a suitcase in East London in Eastern Cape province last week. 

Boyfriend Alutha Pasile was arrested and confessed to her murder, according to the National Prosecuting Authority.

In other incidents, Palesa Maruping was found hanging from the ceiling of a house in Khuma location near Stilfontein in the North West province, while Pheliswa Sawutana was allegedly strangled to death with shoelaces in the Kosovo informal settlement in Cape Town in Western Cape province.

“These heinous crimes against women sadly happened during Women’s Month, when we should be celebrating women’s contribution in society, and reflecting on some of the challenges they continue to face,” the government said in a statement.

It added: “These brutal acts of violence against women are a stark reminder that the ongoing fight against gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) is nowhere near the end.”

“The recent Crime Statistics released by the South African Police Service confirm the extent of the challenge we continue to face in securing the safety of women in the country,” the government said.

According to the government, the US$1.5 billion in support of the fight against GBVF was meant to drive the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP), which seeks to put an end to the scourge.

“Since the launch of the NSP last year, 32 regional courts have been designated as Sexual Offences Courts in various parts of the country, and 3,500 investigating officers received specialised training on Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual crimes,” the government said.

It added: “Twelve public buildings have since been renovated and repurposed to be used as shelters, and police stations have been capacitated with sexual assault evidence kits.”

Currently, there is legislation before Parliament which would see the tightening of cases related to domestic violence issues such as denying offenders bail — and sentencing them to long prison terms.

“As peace-loving and law-abiding South Africans, we must all – individually and collectively – contribute to the safety and well-being of women in our country,” the government said.

It added: “It is our innate responsibility to support and help create a non-violent environment for all women.”

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