The EFF has assembled a legal team headed by advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi to take action against the South African Post Office and communications department following the rape and murder of Uyinene Mwretyana.
EFF leader Julius Malema announced this at a media briefing on Thursday, in light of the recent spate of murders and rapes of women in the country.
Malema, who sent condolences to the families of murdered Uyinene Mrwetyana, Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels, Janika Mallo, Ayakha Jiyani and her siblings, said the cases were a reflection of the daily experiences of women and children who faced the threat of rape, abuse and death in both private and public spaces.
He said the solution to gender-based violence was to fix the public institutions of law enforcement.
Malema told journalists perpetrators of sexual crimes knew that women rarely received help from the system and thus they committed their crimes with impunity.
“Our criminal justice system is toothless when it comes to dealing with rape, detecting psychopaths and unearthing violent domestic spaces. The power of the law must be so effective that it is observed by all in public and domestic spaces because they know there are consequences.
“It is therefore the police and criminal justice system that must take full responsibility for the rape and murder of women and children that has become part of our daily lives,” he said.
Calls have intensified for the government to look closer into the epidemic of gender-based violence in the country. Several vigils have been held and calls have gone out for President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a state of emergency.
Mrwetyana, 19, was last seen in Claremont. She lived at Roscommon House in Main Road, Claremont, a student residence leased by UCT.
According to the State, on the day of her disappearance, Mrwetyana had gone to enquire about a parcel, but the electricity at the post office had been off. She was told to return later.
When she did, she was sexually accosted and fought back but her attacker knocked her out, using a scale.
Malema said the EFF was taking legal action against the post office and communications department because it was their responsibility to ensure the safety of those who used their services.
“Nene’s alleged killer was a post office employee and it is alleged that he had a criminal record as well as a history of murder. A responsible government and employer should have known this. By employing a person with a criminal record, the minister and government assumed the risk of such an incident happening against any member of the public.
“Advocate Ngcukaitobi will be leading this team and contact will be made with Nene’s family soon after the funeral,” he said.