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Calls for increased efforts to tackle GBV in North West

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Calls are increasing for authorities to ramp up their efforts to fight Gender-Based Violence in the Klerksdorp-based Matlosana Local Municipality in the North West province.

Police stations in the area are registering a high number of sexual offence cases. One of them is the Jouberton Police Station, which is in the top ten country-wide.

One family here is asking for justice following the violent deaths of two loved ones in separate incidents. They allege that the police station has been of little help. The family is distraught and in a quest for justice.

Their daughter Motlalepule Mokoena was stabbed to death last month, allegedly by her boyfriend while their son Baleseng Mokhoma was allegedly burnt in a shack by his girlfriend in September. He died five days later.

Mokoena’s boyfriend was arrested following three protest marches to the police station.

The family says it has been a strenuous exercise to seek justice.  ”Why is this boy free because he brutally killed my daughter? The wounds on my daughter were everywhere. On the neck, hands, private parts on the right leg, even on the stomach,” says the father of the deceased Papi Serake.

He says the murder weapon has not been found:

Baleseng’s mother Rebecca Makhoma says, ”He was burnt inside the shack in SunnySide by his girlfriend. She even tied his hands. When I got there I saw him running towards the ambulance. He just apologised to me saying Lerato burnt him. Police have not done or said anything.”

Organisations fighting Gender-Based Violence allege that police are not doing enough to collect evidence and attribute some of the unsolved cases to crime scene contamination.

”We have dealt with these cases for previous years. For the past ten years. The challenge we’re having is that police are not dealing intensively with the cases,” says a representative of one of the organisations.

While the police have implored communities to report any suspected crime scene contamination, the withdrawal of cases has also been highlighted as a hindrance to justice.

”In some instances some of the scenes we find that have been contaminated but where our members are also involved in terms of making sure that they don’t give proper attention to such cases, that must be reported so that proper actions are taken. We also experience a situation whereby in some of the cases, complaints are withdrawn and remember that you spend a lot of resources to make sure that you investigate the case. Even the interference by some family members because we have realized that some family members do have a hand in making sure some of the cases are withdrawn,” says South African Police Service North West’s Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone.

The suspect in Mokoena’s murder case is expected to apply for bail on Wednesday, while the woman suspected of setting alight Mokhoma, has not been arrested yet.

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