Is femicide a norm in SA now?

Karabo Mokoena Pic: Uncova

Femicide has become a recurring phenomenon in South Africa with the killing of women on the rise.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), South Africa has the highest rate of femicide in the world with most women being killed by their intimate partners.

South Africa has also been rated the highest country for rape statistics, human trafficking, forced early marriages and domestic violence among all other horrible things women experience.

Last week a Hammanskraal woman, Sheila Mosidi, was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend. This happened after Sheila broke up with him. Two weeks prior to her death she posted this.

Nobody paid attention to her call for help after she posted this on social media. Mosidi’s killer and ex-boyfriend handed himself over to the police.

Gauteng Social Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, was touched by the death of Mosidi. She said, “Men don’t talk, they suffer in silence and their outburst results in such tragedies. The Men’s Forum can play an inspirational role, they can motivate, engage, assist and inspire other men to be examples of change in their community and build a society free of fear.”

According to Africa Check, South African police recorded a total of 14, 333 murders between April and December 2016, 1 713 of these were women. This, therefore, works out to a woman being murdered every four hours in our country, where at least half of these women die at the hands of their partners. Famous examples would be the cases of Karabo Mokoena and Reeva Steenkamp.

In a focused group interview with local youth consisting of male and females, there was a definite split. The males said they would kill their partners if they cheated on them and the femalses argued that being with someone doesn’t give you the right to kill them. They posed these two questions to the guys; does being someone’s partner give you the right to kill them? Does marrying someone or dating them mean that they belong to you?

The ladies argued that men can’t kill women just because they don’t want to be with them anymore. One argued that soon women will be as scarce as rhino horns, as funny as that comparison sounded, it indicates the fear within the young women.

A few months ago, a first-year quantity surveying student at Mangosuthu University of Technology, (MUT), Zolile Khumalo, was allegedly shot dead by an MUT ex-student at a student residence in Durban. The suspect was her ex-boyfriend. It is said that 21-year-old Khumalo tried to break up with him and he couldn’t take it. When the incident happened, she had been avoiding him for two weeks.

Maybe all this should go back to the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 which regulates the ownership of firearms by civilians. Statistics show that women make up 10 percent of gun homicide victims in South Africa not just homicide, but firearms play a role in violence against women, be it rape, threatening or intimidating.

This might mean that society must pay more attention to addressing men and boy children challenges in the same manner they are doing with women and girl children.

A health survey carried out by Stats SA reveals that 21% of women over 18 in South Africa or one in five women have experienced violence by their partner. For 17% of young women, between 18 and 24 years old, domestic violence by their partners is something they’ve experienced in the previous 12 months. Women between the ages of 14 and 29 accounted for about 39% of femicides.

What will it take to stop the violence and killings against women in South Africa? We need a solution so the souls of Reeva, Zolile and Karabo among others who’ve paid the price, can rest in peace.