Over the past year the Social Justice Coalition’s (SJC) Safety and Justice Programme has been monitoring and offering support to victims and their families in five cases in Khayelitsha involving Gender Based Violence (GBV) and/or violence against children.
Given the high levels of GBV, the low levels of reporting and few convictions in reported cases, the SJC decided to focus on cases of this nature to not only monitor, but if necessary to advocate for successful prosecutions. In doing so we hope to encourage professionalism and efficiency from the criminal justice system in order to build trust and encourage reporting.
Two of these cases will be in court tomorrow.
In the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court the case of Sinoxolo Mafevuka, the 19-year-old resident of SST Section whose naked body was found in a communal toilet in Town Two, Khayelitsha, will begin. In this matter the bail application process was postponed on 10 occasions and was only resolved on 1 July 2016. SJC members will be attending the hearing with Sinoxolo’s family and will be picketing outside.
In the Western Cape High Court, the case of Bongiwe Ninini, the young woman who was assaulted and killed and whose body was dumped in an uncovered drain in an open field will continue. Two of the four accused have previously pleaded guilty to the charges. The Ninini family will be attending the hearing supported by SJC members.
Violence against women and children – whether it is physical, psychological, sexual or other forms of abuse – destroys lives, families and communities. This is an issue that affects the whole of society and cannot be solved or eradicated by the police and the courts alone.
More needs to be done to prevent such abuse from happening in the first place. When crimes are committed there need to be collaboration between the criminal justice system, communities, civil society, government departments and other sectors and stakeholders to ensure that there can be some form of justice for victims and families.
Members of the public and the media are encouraged to support by attending the Khayelitsha picket:
Date: 19 August 2016
Time: Picket will start at 09h30
Venue: Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court (corner of Walter Sisulu & Steve Biko Roads)
For comment contact:
076 045 1451