Residents of Boitumelong township in Bloemhof in the North West, have called on the courts to impose life sentences on all perpetrators of gender-based violence.

The call was made during a peaceful march in which protesters handed over a memorandum of demands to the department of justice and constitutional development in Bloemhof.

Community members say the scourge of GBV continues unabated in their area.

“Enough is enough, we are tired. In the past Bloemhof was a peaceful place but now we are even afraid of walking at night because it is not safe. All the perpetrators against women [abuse] we calling on government to impose life sentence against them. Because these people do not stay long in prison,” say some residents.

The march was led by a member of national parliament deployed in the area, Sylvia Lucas.

When handing over the memorandum, Lucas promised to bring the concerns of the residents to the relevant ministers.

“It cannot be that someone’s life can become so cheap, that someone can be killed and someone (allege perpetrator) get R500 bail. That is why we will follow up with our office. So that they give us all case numbers and cases. I will give it directly to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Police,”

“So that they should follow up. If the problem is the justice department, then I will ask comrade Ronald Lamola to assist us, and if is the police, we will ask comrade Bheki Cele to assist us with it,” explains Lucas.

Meanwhile, a fifteen-year-old suspect has been arrested for the murder of four-year-old Sanelisiwe Mhlongo from KwaMashu, north of Durban.

Mhlongo’s stabbed and naked body was discovered in bushes near her home on Friday.

The arrest comes after two men – both related to the child – were taken in for questioning on Tuesday.

Angry community members marched to the Ntuzuma police station.

The video below, is reporting on the arrest on the teenager: