Less than two weeks after the end of the 16 Days of Activism against the Abuse of Women and Children, the community of Koster near Rustenburg in the North West is in shock after a 28-year-old woman was allegedly burnt to death by her 30-year-old boyfriend.
It is alleged that Sipho Sibanda doused Mmatlala Moahlodi with petrol and set her alight in front of her home last Thursday. He then reportedly fled the scene.
A brutal act of gender-based violence has cut short Mmatlala Moahlodi’s life. A neighbour, Arthur Mere, who witnessed the incident had this to say.
“It was around half past 12 on Thursday night. I heard a noise on the street. I went outside. When I passed my car I saw a person running with fire, she burning from head to toe. We woke up the neighbors and I told them that flame that you see there is a human being. She was still burning the top to the head but downwards the fire was dead because she fell on the ground. But basically, this has affected us negatively. We wish for justice to prevail.”
The community says such incidents of Gender-Based Violence, have become the norm in the area. Pastor Keitumetse Sefanyetso is from a local women’s organization, while Solly Modisane is a member of the local community policing forum.
“As women, we don’t feel safe at all because even those who find the courage to go report at the police station are told to go resolve their issues with partners. Now women have gotten used to this and that is why they suffer in silence.”
“We have another case whereby a boyfriend took fire and put it in a women’s private parts. We also have another lady in hospital fighting for her life. She was stabbed by her boyfriend. We are tired of these things.”
The Moahlodi family is not convinced the justice system will bring closure to the family. Lucas Mogorosi is the family spokesperson.
“Before this happened, I actually had a discussion with my colleagues about men who kill their girlfriends, not knowing that it would happen in my family. What hurts me the most is that if our justice system was fair, he would get punished. But now he is going to come back with a degree.”
The accused, Sipho Sibanda, is expected to make his second appearance in the Koster Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
In the video below is the full report: