Tumelo waga Dibakwane, News24 and Google News SA
President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended South African law enforcement authorities for their action which led to the arrests of two people for the brutal murders of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana and SA boxing champion Leighandre Jegels.
A man arrested in connection with Mrwetyana’s disappearance has been charged with her murder and rape as well as defeating the ends of justice. He had already appeared in the Wynberg Magistrates court. He is an employee at the Clareinch Post Office, where Mrwetyana was last seen alive.
The estranged police officer boyfriend of female boxing champion Jegels, who shot and killed her last week, died in hospital, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). He also shot Jegel’s mother, who is recuperating in hospital, before driving off and him being involved in a car accident which killed two more people.
“The murder of these two young women; one at the hands of a stranger and the other killed by a man who was reportedly her boyfriend, remain a stark reminder that the women of South Africa are not safe, either in their homes or in the streets,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement. He called it a “dark period in the history of the country.
In another unrelated incident, the body of a 14-year-old girl was found in a backyard in Cape Town, adding to a grim body count of murdered women and girls across the country. She also had been raped before she was killed.
Mrwetyana went missing after an errand to the post office. She was attacked, raped and killed. Mallo’s body was found buried with her head bashed in her grandmother’s yard, she too was raped.
In Mpumalanga, Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane said time for talking had passed, “we need action to end this violence now.” She called on civic organizations to stand up and form street committees to look after each other. The Premier further urged law enforcement agencies to prioritize cases and instances of gender based violence reported. South Africa had recently celebrated National Women’s Day.
Over 300,000 South Africans have signed a petition calling for the death penalty to be reinstated, in the wake of several high profile murders and acts of violence against women in the country. Crime statistics showed that there were 20,336 murders in South Africa between April 2017 and March 2018, a 7% increase from the previous year. This puts the country’s murder rate at close to 36 people murdered per 100,000 population – and 57 murders each day.
Earlier in 2019, president Cyril Ramaphosa answered voters’ questions ahead of the National Elections, one of which questioned the plausibility of the death penalty being reinstated to combat high levels of crime in South Africa. The president said quite plainly that it is not the state’s place to take life.
“To endorse the death penalty is to endorse state violence and the brutality that necessarily forms part of premeditating killing,” said Constitutional law expert, Pierre De Vos. “The death penalty thus brutalises the whole of society and implicates us all in the kind of violence that we wish perpetrators to be punished for.” However, not all political leaders are opposed to the death penalty.
Quotes taken from Google SA News