The raw deal Limpopo’s women and children have been suffering at the hands of their killers and attackers since the start of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign questions the hopelessness of a situation that has put a handful of victims at the centre of some of the most violent crimes in South Africa the past week and a half.
While several cases of violent attacks, incidents of rape, sexual assault and murder against women and children were reported, Police in Limpopo also made breakthroughs by securing the arrests of alleged perpetrators during the same period. Two children and a woman were among those reported missing across the province.
Learner allegedly sexually assaulted
Closest to home Westenburg Police have launched a manhunt for a suspect responsible for the recent alleged sexual assault of an 18-year-old learner.
Provincial Police Spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe said the learner was walking along the Kuschke road when a man stopped and offered her a lift. Along the way the suspect, who only identified himself as a Mr Moodley, reportedly started fondling the victim without her consent. The suspect stopped the vehicle, supposedly to continue with his dubious act but the victim managed to open the door and escape, according to Ngoepe.
Police have evidence relating to the suspect but he has not been traced yet. Investigations continue.
Alleged domestic violence ends in death
Maropeni Mutau, a 34-year-old woman of Ga-Mamaila outside Giyani was reportedly fatally shot by her so-called boyfriend last Tuesday.
Ngoepe said the incident happened at about 22:30 where after the suspect allegedly fled the scene.
The motive behind the deed is still being investigated and according to Ngoepe domestic violence cannot be ruled out.
Woman killed, dumped in pit
Two suspects, Clement Baloyi (36) and his accomplice Walter Pilusa (30) appeared in the Nkowankowa Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday in connection with the brutal murder of Baloyi’s wife, Lindiwe Nokeri (40) at Babanana village, Nwamitoa. The case was remanded to next week for bail application.
Ngoepe indicated that Baloyi alleged that he left his wife home alone last Friday and when he later returned she was nowhere to be found. Police began initial investigations and a search and rescue operation which led to the discovery of her body in a pit in the couple’s yard.
Social worker gunned down, another stabbed
Police are searching for suspects involved in the cold blooded murder of Muzila Thinavhuyo (45), a social worker from Louis Trichardt, on the weekend.
It is alleged that Thinavhuyo had arrived home and was in the process of parking her vehicle when several suspects appeared, shot at her numerous times and fatally wounded her. She died instantly, according to Ngoepe.
A case of murder is being investigated and no arrests have been made as yet.
Suzan Phala, Democratic Alliance (DA) Spokesperson on safety and security in the province condemned the killing and indicated that such incidents continue to highlight the vulnerability of women in all communities.
In a second incident a former Police sergeant attached to Motetema Police Station outside Groblersdal who was dismissed from his duties due to his alleged involvement in an armed robbery about two months ago, is facing two counts of attempted murder. This after he allegedly stabbed his girlfriend and her twin sister with a sharp object at their home in Mmotwaneng village outside Marble Hall last Sunday.
According to Ngoepe the suspect allegedly gained access to the house by breaking a window. He apparently launched an attack on his girlfriend, a social worker, and allegedly stabbed her several times. Her twin who attempted to help her sister was also stabbed.
Ngoepe indicated that the suspect reportedly attempted to take his own life after the incident but a sting search operation quickly led to his arrest at a friend’s house in a nearby village.
A packet of chips to keep quiet after rape
A 68-year-old pensioner is expected to appear in the Lenyenye Magistrate’s Court again today (Thursday) in connection with the alleged rape of a 6-year-old girl about two weeks ago.
Ngoepe indicated that the incident occurred at Maake outside Tzaneen when the suspect, a neighbour of the victim, allegedly lured her to his house and raped her. He reportedly offered her a packet of chips in exchange for her silence, according to Ngoepe.
The child’s parents noticed her changed behaviour and questioned her whereupon she divulged the whole ordeal.
Police were notified and investigations quickly led to the arrest of the neighbour.
Two children, woman reported missing
In the meantime Police have launched a search party for two children and a woman who were reported missing in respective matters.
Annah Mathapelo Lestoalo (16) allegedly went missing from Ga-Maja outside Lebowakgomo on 27 November. It is not clear how she disappeared and her parents could not recall the type of clothes she wore at the time.
Police are also searching for Dineo Onicca Maupye (20) of Zone 1, Mahwelereng who was last seen on Sunday. Ngoepe indicated that she allegedly left home with her younger brother who later returned home alone. Maupye allegedly phoned her father later that day to inform him that she would be home late but she never returned and she could no longer be reached on her cell phone.
Following the report of the third incident, Police are searching for Mathapelo Mabitela (14) of Lenting village outside Lebowakgomo who went missing about a week ago.
According to Ngoepe the victim left home to visit her mother at Masetamong village, but she never arrived at her destination and could not be located since then.
Story: RC Myburgh