The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Khehla Sitole has said that gender-based violence cases remain a priority for the police across the country.
In a statement on Sunday, Sitole pointed out some of the police’s positive responses to incidents of gender-based violence following the recent spate of such cases across the country.
Sitole condemned the recent spate of the killing of women in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape, labelling these incidents as brutal and “horrific”.
He welcomed the “sterling” work done by detectives which resulted in the arrest of suspects in a “majority of these cases”.
“In the case of the killing of 45-year-old Nompumelelo Tshaka, her alleged murderer, Ayanda Zenani was arrested. Ms Tshaka’s body was found dumped on an open field in Mthatha by a passerby on 5 June 2020. Zenani has since appeared in the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court on Thursday the 11th of June. He will be appearing in the same court again on 18 June 2020, for a formal bail application.
“In KwaZulu-Natal, Msunduse Reserve, a 52-year-old Bhekukwanda Cele has appeared in the Ndwedwe Magistrates Court, charged with the alleged murder of his estranged wife, 31-year-old Nwabisa Mgwandela. It is alleged that three men assaulted and tied her up with a rope, leaving her hanging in the house on 7 June 2020.
“Recently in Gauteng the killing of 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule whose body unknown at the time was found in the bushes on 5 June 2020. Her family reported her missing on 7 June 2020, and it was identified the following day. The police are following leads to apprehend and bring to book her killer. Pule was eight months pregnant at the time of her death.
“In the Western Cape, a 34-year-old ex-boyfriend of slain 25-year-old Naledi Phangindawo appeared in court this week in Mossel Bay for her murder. She was killed in KwaNonqaba a week ago and the suspect fled to Lwandle in Strand but later handed himself over to the police. The suspect remains custody until his next court appearance.
“In another incident in the Western Cape, last month a suspect was arrested for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, 34-year-old Nomfazi Gabada. The suspect, Sithembele Klaas was initially arrested earlier this month but the case was withdrawn. The investigating officer persevered in this matter, obtained a warrant for the arrest of Klaas, he was then traced and rearrested him last night. Klaas will be brought before a Magistrate at the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court tomorrow morning,” the statement reads.
Sitole pointed out that in all the cases where suspects have been arrested, the victim was in a relationship with the suspect.
“It is these circumstances that makes the prevention of crimes against women and children that much more complex,” he said.
He gave an assurance to South Africans that crimes against vulnerable people will not go unpunished.
“The Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit is extremely obstinate in its cause to bringing perpetrators of crimes against women, children and people of vulnerable groups to book.
“Crimes against women, children and all other vulnerable groups continue to remain a priority of the South African Police Service”, Sitole said.
He said the police are urging family, friends and neighbours, who often are aware of cases or potential cases of domestic violence, to alert the police of such cases before it’s too late to help a victim of such cases.
“People with information can call the SAPS Emergency Number, 10111 before a crime is committed or when a crime is in progress.
“Callers that want to remain anonymous may contact SAPS Crime Stop Number 08600 10111 or send a tip-off via MySAPSApp which can be downloaded on any android or iPhone. All information received will be treated with confidentiality.”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)