A family of six has been laid to rest at Sidabekweni village at Elloitdale in the Eastern Cape. The mother and her five children – the youngest just six months old – were all hacked to death allegedly by the mother’s 34-year-old partner.
He’s in police custody after his arrest in King William’s Town a day after the family murder.
An unimaginable pill to swallow as the coffins were lowered into the six graves. This is something that has become common in parts of the country.
Police Minister Bheki Cele says police must take Gender-Based Violence cases seriously.
“There are complaints that we now and again receive to say when people go to the police station they are told either to go and come the next day. Sometimes (they’re) told to go and negotiate, sometimes even ridiculed to say was this the way you were dressing up. We are really calling on all our members to stop that.”
Education MEC Fundile Gade says the provincial government will intensify programmes against Gender-Based Violence.
“Yes, it is quite tragic and quite unspeakable because it reflects the rise of Gender-Based Violence in the country. One message that is being revealed by this incident is that there is a need for a reconstruction of the soul or reorientation of the mind in particular of the manhood so that we understand that we coexist with women.”
For the devastated close relatives, it’s a struggle to get closure. Women want tougher action against all perpetrators.
ANC Women’s League member at Amathole region, Thembalam Xhego has urged the government to implement policies on Gender-Based Violence.
“There are policies in government to fight Gender-Based Violence. What we are supposed to do is to continue doing awareness mostly in rural areas, like where we are today. We need to reach out to everybody create and send a very strong message to whoever thinks of doing things like this.”
Getting closure is hard for the family.
Family Spokesperson Mphathiswa Sikhundwana says, “We have lost our sister, lost five nephews and we are not well. We need counselling. But what we would like the government to do is to keep the perpetrators behind bars. It is hard for the family.”
The suspect is expected to appear at Elliotdale regional court on Monday. He was arrested a day after the murder at Ginsberg in King William’s Town.