A North West psycho-social expert says the country is faced with a mammoth task of dealing with the increase in gender-based violence. Professor Hayley Walker-Williams says loopholes in the justice system are also adding to the scourge. The North West University scholar says victims of gender-based violence who continue to receive threatening communication from perpetrators behind bars are not only left terrified, but they may also end up withdrawing charges.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has told South Africans that government has strengthened the justice criminal system more effectively to deal with gender-based violence cases. He has called for an end to the scourge, while also advocating for stronger legislation in dealing with what he calls South Africa’s second pandemic.
However, for Nthabiseng Mosia, a distraught mother and gender-based violence victim, this call comes a little too late. Mosia says she lives in fear after her two sons, 11-year-old Lesego and 12-year old Koketso Mosia, were allegedly murdered by their father Dannyboy Khumalo two months ago.
In the video below, two siblings allegedly poisoned by their father are laid to rest:
Although Khumalo is in custody at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional facility in Pretoria, he allegedly continues to harass her.
Mosia says she still receives WhatsApp messages from him.
“Hello my love. It does not help for you to say that. I told you. I did not do this willingly and you know that I will always love you, my love. You know why I did this my love. You are the only one who knows. This pains me. I have to accept everything my love and I will always love. I love you baby and you know,” reads the messages.
The question is how did Khumalo manage to obtain a cell phone while in prison? SABC News journalist Bafedile Moerane also called the numbers, allegedly belonging to him.
Moerane: Is this Dannyboy talking?
Accused: Yes it is me.
Moerane: Where are you my brother?
Accused: I’m at Kgosi Mampuru.
Accused: At Kgosi Mampuru? Yah In Prison?
Moerane: Yah…So where did you get the phone my brother?
Accused: You know there is always a plan, so what is Nthabi saying?
Moerane: Eish her heart is broken.
Accused: She is heartbroken hey? Yah but she understands.
Mosia says these phone calls make her doubt whether justice will be served.
“When he speaks to me through the voice note, it gives me the impression that he might be outside. Like as he is custody, I am asking myself questions, that how did he get a cellphone? Why does he have to speak to me? How will I even heal when he still manages to speak to me? The justice system is failing, because now this person can still talk to me as if he is outside.,” says Mosia.
Mosia says she is still battling to come to terms with what happened.
“This is troubling me. I am even sick. I went to the doctor and they told me I have too much stress and really I can accept what happened, because when I try to, this guy talks to me and everything starts all over again.”
Professor Hayley Walker-Williams, a psycho-social expert from the North West University, says cases like these are a clear indication that more still needs to be done to strengthen the justice system.
“There is lots of loopholes in the justice system, that is why gender-based violence is so under reported in South Africa because these women live in fear. So they fear their safety, they fear stigmatisation and they fear not being protected by the justice system. These women still leaving in fear because the threat is not extinguished so even though these perpetrators are incarcerated they continue to threaten the women, threaten their personal safety, their livelihoods, their families and they often do this to get the women to withdraw the charges.”
The Correctional Services Department has promised to urgently investigate Khumalo’s alleged possession of a cell phone while in prison.
In the video below, calls for a tougher sentence as a man appears in court for the murder of his children: