‘Saps must develop national plan on policing in informal settlements’

The half-naked body of Sinoxolo Mafevuka was discovered in a communal toilet in Khayelitsha.

A march was underway in Khayelitsha demanding better policing after the murder on 19-year-old Sinoxolo Mafevuka earlier today. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has welcomed the arrests in the murder of Sinoxolo Mafevuka but the organisation is still concerned about the investigation.

Police arrested two men, aged 21 and 26, were caught over the weekend, two weeks after the young woman's half-naked body was found in communal toilets.

They faced murder and rape charges in the Khayelitsha Magistrate's court this morning.

The SJC's Chumile Sali says, "We welcome that there were arrests made. However, we know that the South African Police Service (Saps) only started to do its work when the deputy minister of police visited the community - this was a week after the incident occurred."

Sali says the organisation wants action from police management.

"As the SJC, we are demanding Saps, nationally, develop a plan for visible policing in informal settlements. Currently, Saps does not have a plan on how to police informal settlements."

Disgruntled community members blamed what happened to Mafevuka on poor policing and inadequate water and sanitation services in the area.

Residents said they'd been complaining about their torrid living conditions for years but nothing changed.

They said the crime in the area is perpetuated by the filthy state of their environment.

The SJC's Nomthetho Kilo says, "We want the justice system to play a role in this case, because there are many similar cases in Khayelitsha. This is continuing and we want it to stop now."

Meanwhile, Kerry Nelson, the Cape Town woman who has been spearheading a campaign to raise funds for the Mafevukas, says she came to court to support the family.

"Both families are crying and you look in front of you, its two boys - they are not men. It just shows how we are letting our kids down. Our government, the justice system. So we'll just throw these kids in jail and then what?"


Outside court earlier, members of the SJC and community members demonstrated and shouted "No bail!"

Last week, police indicated the forensic investigation was at an advanced stage amid claims they were not giving the case enough attention.

The SJC coalition and its allies marched on the Harare Police Station.

Inside, the courtroom was packed with Mafevuka's family and friends.

Relatives of the two accused, who are said to be brothers, also came to support.

The 21-year-old kept his head down throughout proceedings.

The magistrate requested that the names and addresses of the accused are not published or broadcast for security reasons.

The matter has been postponed to next Thursday.

WATCH: Khayaletsha protesters demand better policing