Port St Johns community alarmed by rise in women killings

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The rise of brutal killings of women in Port St Johns, Eastern Cape, is alarming. Two decomposed bodies of young women were found in the bushes by the villager’s dogs.

One of the suspects was stoned to death allegedly by women at the Selwane village.

Gender-Based Violence has shocked many people in the Coastal town of Port St Johns. It causes irreparable pain and trauma to many women in South Africa.

Women feel not safe among men.

At Khohlo village in Port St Johns, a 22-year-old woman was brutally killed and her decomposed body was found by a villager’s dogs. This has traumatised Lwandlekazi Sobhuye.

“I want the suspect to serve a life sentence. No bail, nothing. He must serve his long term in jail. It’s very painful and I cannot accept this brutal killing. We really do not know what was her sin to be killed like this. I am convinced that the suspect was not alone. There were many people involved in this killing.”

Just a few kilometers from Khohlo village, another decomposed body of a 24-year-old woman was found. The woman was raped and brutally killed. The suspect was apprehended by the community and allegedly stoned to death by women in the village.

Thunyelwa Maqovu is saddened. “The family is distraught, very disturbed. I have never seen such brutality in my life, an innocent woman being killed in this cruel manner. I am really shocked and traumatized.”

At Mswakazi village, 95-year-old Holly Banner of Ethiopian Apostolic Church in Zion, and his 82-year-old wife were brutally stabbed to death allegedly by an adopted granddaughter.

Family Spokesperson, Mathunzi Magopheni  says the suspect allegedly committed suicide as her body was found hanging from a tree.

“When we arrived at the house we saw the body of an elderly woman with stab wounds. The knife was placed on the face. We then moved to the room. We saw the body of an elderly man with 7 stab wounds.”

Port St Johns Mayor Nomvuzo Mlombile-Cingo says these gruesome incidents have raised uncertainties in many communities.

“The solution stays within the hearts of the people because mainly when we talk about Gender-Based Violence. It’s something that starts from a quarrel between two people, for example. So, it’s how you handle whatever challenge you come across. So, in essence, we need responsible citizens.”

Meanwhile, Gender Activist Nomsisi Bata says government must take the scourge of brutal killings of women seriously.

“Perpetrators’ rights cannot reign supreme when the girl child and women live in perpetual fear. We, as women, of this country demand action. Enough is enough. We dare not rest until the women are  free.”

Gender-Based Violence is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa. Young women and elderly women face the reality of social ills on a daily basis.