Now is the time: the fight against gender-based violence will be intensified and violent crimes in general will be reduced.
This was the commitment made by the MEC for Social Development, Nkakareng Rakgoale, who vowed that her department would work hand in glove with other departments to ensure this goal is reached.
The cold-blooded murder of businesswomen, Lizette and Hettie Deacon a week ago and the outcry it caused for authorities to up their game, once again highlighted the need for enhanced measures to fight crimes against women and children.
The mother and daughter were reportedly killed at the townhouse they stayed in at Welgelegen last Thursday and their bodies were later the same evening discovered in their vehicle, which was abandoned along the R37. Police confirmed that both women sustained several stab wounds.
Rakgoale, accompanied by Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (Ledet) MEC Thabo Mokone and Community Safety MEC Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya were part of a high-level delegation who visited the Deacon family on Monday, including the Polokwane and CDM mayors, Thembi Nkadimeng and John Mpe.
During the visit, Rakgoale said perpetrators of gender-based violence will be brought to book, as government needs to ensure the safety of all civilians at their homes and businesses. Ledet has been brought in to ensure safety is upheld in the business sector, she added.
She also offered offered psychological support and counselling to the family.
According to Lerule-Ramakhanya her department will be working towards developing a programme that will specifically look at eradicating violent crimes in the province.
“The programme will feature street committees which will be the ears and the eyes of the department on the ground. We are hoping this will assist in providing law enforcement agencies with information on crimes as they happen. If we can get this information, it will assist when the cases are heard in court”, she said.
She says in the past three weeks the department has received a list of people suspected to be responsible for robberies and other crimes around the city which they are currently working on locating.
Rakgoale also attended the first court appearance of the two suspects, Advance Amid (30) and Casper Mudau (35) on Tuesday after they were apprehended for the murder on Sunday. The MEC has vowed to attend all the court appearances and to support the family in their time of need.
The case was postponed to next Friday for profiling of the suspects while the duo will remain in custody. After their brief appearance, Rakgoale expressed gratitude that they have been remanded in custody while she urged the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to ensure that justice is served.
Also yesterday, Ntiyiso Xilumane (26) was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Limpopo High Court for the murder of Shongile Nkwashu, a medical intern at the Mankweng Hospital. She was strangled in January this year. In court, Xilumane said he was “agitated” after receiving a break-up text from her.
The MEC this week also expressed concern over the number of perpetrators who serve time in jail and are released on parole.
“We need to send a message to the NPA, that perhaps before they release people, they need to check the seriousness of the case, as most of these culprits undermine the justice system by committing the same crimes they have initially been arrested for,” she concluded.
Story: Umpha Manenzhe