An outcry against women abuse has been echoed for decades but this heinous crime seems to gain momentum by the year. ‘You strike a woman you strike a rock’ is a well-known slogan that clearly depicts the fragility and uniqueness of a woman.
August, in South Africa, is a month reserved for honouring women from all walks of life for their role in building and shaping households as well as nations. The crimes committed against them, however, tell a different story.
Rhodes University student, Khensani Maseko, committed suicide on 3 August, last year, after suffering from immense depression. The depression stemmed from being raped by her boyfriend earlier in May 2018.
The University’s Student Representative Council sent their condolences to her family while some celebrities did the same on social media. Media personality, Thando Thabethe posted a heart-warming message on twitter: ‘What have we done to be hated, to be disrespected so much? May you find peace and love in your new journey gorgeous soul.’
As if this incident isn’t bad enough politicians are also in the spotlight for the wrong reasons lately. Former Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana was charged with the assault of 3 women at a Johannesburg night club in August 2017. This led to Manana being stripped of his ministerial duties and subsequently resigning as the ANC’s member of parliament.
Within the same month Sandile Mantsoe appeared in court for the murder of his girlfriend Karabo Mokoena. Mantsoe had reportedly stuffed Mokoena’s body in a dustbin, when he allegedly discovered her lying lifeless in their Lyndhurst apartment, and proceeded to set her alight. He is currently serving 32 years in prison for the murder.
Women have come a long way, and decisive steps must be taken to free them from abuse.