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In February 2022, Nonhlanhla (Surname being withheld to protect the identity of children) was killed at her gate, by her boyfriend.
Telling Newcastillian News about the victim, Simphiwe Mbokazi, a former colleague said, “We worked together for six years and she was such a bubbly person.”
Mbokazi explained that Nonhlanhla’s vibrant personality had endured a turbulent life at the hands of her former boyfriend. Whereby she further said that man beat and sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion. “She would tell him, that just because they were in a relationship it didn’t mean that he could force himself on her, and that no meant no,” told Mbokazi. Whereafter she additionally said that Nonhlanhla’s boyfriend assaulted her at work.
Following a series of events, Nonhlanhla eventually opened a case against her abusive boyfriend, leading to him being imprisoned for two years.
However, after being released, he allegedly started threatening Nonhlanhla. “She would say that he had threatened to kill her because she had got him sent to jail, and in February, he shot her and then fled to his mother’s house, where he then killed himself. But what about her poor children?” stated Mbokazi.
Finishing off, she encouraged all women not to tolerate abuse in any form. “Run at the first sign of abuse and report it.”
Unfortunately, Nonhlanhla is not the only woman to be killed in the Amajuba District at the hands of someone they loved. According to Newcastle Crisis Centre’s Mary Dobbie, 10 women from the Amajuba District have been killed in a span of 11 months, amounting to almost one woman a month.
Dannhauser, Madadeni, Siyahlalala in Newcastle, Blaauwbosch and KwaMathakuza were where the murders occurred.
According to Dobbie, each of the murders in these areas had something in common, all of the women were killed brutally. Another similarity in the cases and most domestic violence cases, Dobbie explained, was the fear of the unknown and women choosing to stay in their situation due to the financial stability their spouses provided.
When looking at femicide, Dobbie stressed, “A woman is killed every four minutes in South Africa, and unfortunately, many cases are not reported in the media.” She also said that GBV plagues all communities. “It occurs across the board in Newcastle and the Amajuba District,” pointing out that the town’s upper and middle class often endured abuse in silence.
“The upper class don’t talk about it, and the middle class are worried about what the neighbours might say if the police came to their homes,” explained Dobbie.
On 1 November 2022, Newcastillian News reported how a man had killed his 29-year-old girlfriend following an argument on 31 October 2022, before handing himself into the Newcastle SAPS on the next day.
Adding to the tragedy of the incident the SAPS went to assist her. However, she declined their help and turned them away.
To read the full article, click here.
The question is, how often do abuse victims refuse help from the police or withdraw cases after going to the SAPS?
“It happens often that victims of abuse withdraw their case, before returning to their partners,” pointed out Newcastle Crisis Centre’s Jabua Makhoba.
She further added that the perpetrators were not only men. “There was an incident in Mdonzi, where a woman killed her boyfriend by setting him on fire.”
However, with men being the main assailants and looking for answers as to why these guys glitch out and beat their partners or worse, Dobbie said, “They all have a past in common. They also might have an overbearing mother or an over-protective mother. Moms must realise, they are bringing up someone’s husband.”
Furthermore, Dobbie said it was essential that victims knew there was help in Newcastle and that Protection Orders could also be obtained to ensure an abuse victim’s safety. “The police are mandated to arrest someone if they violate a protection order against them.”
If you have a friend or family member who is suffering at the hands of a pathetic person, is it your responsibility to contact the relevant authorities? Often people are so deep into a problem that they just need a hand out.
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