[WARNING] THIS STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT THAT MAY AFFECT SENSITIVE READERS.
A 12-year-old girl who was brutally murdered at Mputhi village in Baziya outside Mthatha in the Eastern Cape two weeks ago has been laid to rest.
Emihle Tukani was raped and strangled and her naked body dumped next to a kraal.
A 47-year-old herdsman in the village who residents believed to be responsible, was allegedly apprehended by the community, who then beat him to death.
Emihle Tukani’s peers came to pay their last respects. She had been a member of a moral regeneration movement called Inkciyo, which encourages young girls to preserve their virginity.
Her death has shocked the community and her family.
The family spokesperson Mayandiswe Sifuba, says, “Ever since this tragedy happened, I am not ok. The reason is because he did this to my granddaughter while he was working for me. So, this is very painful. All of us are not ok. We comfort each other so that we don’t break. Otherwise, this is not nice.”
Residents of Mputhi say the village is gradually becoming a haven for drug abuse. They claim elderly women and girls have become soft targets for rape and murder.
Youth leader, Mpumelelo Mzimbambi, says they need assistance from the police.
“We decided as the youth of this village to embark on a campaign to rid our village of drugs. We met and took a decision to go to the houses where we suspected that drugs are being sold. We did not fight with anyone and no one was ever assaulted. We told them our reasons for doing that. We said our young people are like this because of the drugs they are selling to them.”
Funeral service of Emihle Tukani, who was raped and strangled, under way in Eastern Cape:
Inkciyo representative, Siphokazi Ngwenya, has called for harsher sentences to be imposed on perpetrators of such crimes.
“When you keep yourself pure and know your purpose for that, being raped would make you commit suicide when you see the perpetrator roaming the streets. I wish government could impose harsher sentences on them. I would be very happy if they could return the death sentence.”
Director of Women and Children’s rights advocacy group, Khula Development Project, Petros Majola, says a lot still needs to be done to transform the mindset of men towards women and children.
“We call a number of men’s conferences, men and boys to talk to men, save them on issues of GBV and femicide. But what I realise is that those people who attend the conferences, I don’t like to say it but I will say those ones are the right ones … are the ones who run programs in their communities. But our target audience does not attend these conferences. And therefore we need to go back to families, so that we educate and empower families so that when they instill discipline and values in their children, at least they have our support.”
Emihle Tukani was laid to rest at her home in Mputhi village.
Eastern Cape community in shock over rape, murder of 12-year-old girl: