The past few years saw a number of gender-based murders in eMbalenhle. There were two this year and two last year. 2016 also saw a murder but the girl is still unidentified.
All of these murders were conducted in the area around ext. 17, Embalenhle and members of the SAPS, NPA, supporting agencies and members of the public gathered at the Methodist Church, ext. 17, eMblalenhle, to lay flowers and stones at the scenes where the victims of gender-based violence were found.
The Bulletin reported about two girls that were found in the area. One in May and one a few weeks ago.
The day started at the Methodist church in ext. 17. A large group of people gathered. After prayers and a short sermon, the residents were all issued with whistles. Residents are encouraged to carry the whistles with them at all times and to whistle three times very loudly if they are in trouble. This would alert nearby residents that something is wrong. It is a very effective way of alerting people and calling for help.
The children present were also told about people touching them inappropriately and what to do as well as how to deal with strangers.
As the group gathered around every scene where the bodies were dumped it became clear that the murderer knew the area very well. It was very strange to retrace the steps to every scene. It was extremely humbling and sad to think that where the crowd stood a young girl was dumped.
Please take a moment to remember the four identified girls: Mihle Zinganto, Cynthia Masilela, Leranto Nkutha and Nokulunga Nkutha. Let their names be remembered as they died an untimely death.
The initiative by all involved needs to be applauded. It is very special indeed. Some of the family members of the murdered girls also joined in the parade. A number of pastors from eMba prayed at each scene and for the people.
Tracy from NPA explained that there is a task team that have been working these cases continually.
“We will not rest until justice has been done.”
Gender-based violence is real and around us every day. It affects everybody and is especially severe for children.
The following is an excerpt from a World Health Organisation publication: “Sexual abuse, including sexual assault or rape, of children and adolescents, is a major global public health problem, a violation of human rights and has many health consequences in the short and long term.
The physical, sexual, reproductive health and mental health consequences of such abuse are wide-ranging and need to be addressed. Data from several settings show that children and adolescents are disproportionately represented among the cases of sexual abuse that are brought to the attention of health-care providers. “
The community recently (The Bulletin dated 16 November) assaulted a young man that they believed to be involved in the murders.
The police rescued him from the angry crowd and took him into custody for his own safety. The crowd burned down his house in anger.
This was a setback for the investigation as crucial evidence could have been destroyed.
The police are working very hard to solve the cases and anyone with information is requested to phone the child line at 08001111 or to contact eMbalenhle police.