A high-profile team of detectives has been deployed to track down the fugitive husband of Lesedi FM current affairs anchor, Dimakatso Ratselane. Ratselane was stabbed multiple times, allegedly by her husband. She is currently fighting for her life in a Bloemfontein hospital.
The violent attack on Ratselane lasted for several hours until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“I heard someone screaming. She eventually came to my home. She was profusely bleeding…I then called an ambulance,” says an eyewitness, Khothatso Koahela.
Ratselane’s family is yet to come to terms with the ordeal.
“The family is not coping. Children are yet to be informed,” says family spokesperson, Tsietsi Mohoalali.
This horrendous attack has sent shockwaves on various social media platforms. The SABC has also condemned acts of gender-based violence. The mood is also sombre in the newsroom.
“We normally talk about this as journalists…now it’s hitting home. We are hurting as colleagues,” says Ratselane’s co-worker, Dimakatso Motsoeneng.
Reaction to brutal attack on Lesedi FM anchor:
Free State premier, Sisi Ntombela, says she is shocked by the attack.
Ntombela says the attack on Ratselane is a painful reminder that women in South Africa are under siege. She says Ratselane was attacked at a time, government relied on people like her to educate people about COVID-19. The premier has appealed to members of the public to desist from sharing the graphic pictures of Ratselane as this is traumatising.
The suspect, who is a former police officer, has been on the run since Wednesday.
Free State Police spokesperson, Motantsi Makhele, says: “We have a team of provincial high-profile investigators who normally handle these cases. We just appeal to suspect to hand himself over.”
The police are also requesting anyone who might know the whereabouts of the suspect to contact them.
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently launched a private sector-led, multi-sectoral Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund aimed at supporting implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP), and the wider GBVF response in the country.
GBVF Fund officially launched:
The creation of the fund was a fulfilment of a resolution of the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Declaration, which followed the 2018 GBVF Summit.
The Summit brought together government, civil society and other role players in an effort to find lasting interventions to end GBVF.
Ramaphosa has declared GBV a second pandemic in South Africa.