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Cope wants legal aid withheld from suspects in GBV cases

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said all suspects of rape and murder of women and children should be excluded from legal aid and if found not guilty they can be reimbursed.

FILE: Capetonians took to the street to protest against gender-based violence on 4 September 2019. They moved from Parliament to the Cape Town International Convention Centre where the World Economic Forum on Africa event was under way. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of the People (Cope) says it wants Parliament to urgently and seriously consider withdrawing legal aid for accused in gender-based violence cases.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said all suspects of rape and murder of women and children should be excluded from legal aid and if found not guilty they can be reimbursed.

“We are going to take this matter to Parliament and our public representatives will table this issue so that urgent attention must be given to address and review this whole thing of legal aid to these suspects that are murdering our women [and] killing our children.

At the same time, Cape Town residents held a candlelight vigil on the grand parade on Saturday night following a spate of deadly attacks on women and children.

This caps off a difficult week for the country.

Activist Roegshanda Pascoe said, “Life can’t go as normal. Life is not normal. It’s a fight for all of us to take up. We are mothers and daughters of this nation and it’s our responsibility as citizens of this country to not sit idle and wait for someone to come and change this around for us. We can do it together.”

Meanwhile, speaking at the funeral of murdered University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, Police minister Bheki Cele told mourners that the justice system should make it difficult for repeat offenders to get bail.

MAN ACCUSED OF HANGING HIS 4 CHILDREN IN PINETOWN ABANDONS BAIL BID

The man accused of murdering his three children and a stepdaughter in Pinetown has abandoned his bail application.

Sibusiso Mpungose appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Friday, looking frail and distressed.

He is accused of killing the children after learning that his wife planned to divorce him.

Mpungose was arrested on Wednesday after his children’s bodies were discovered on Tuesday.

He is expected back in court on 9 October 2019.

The four children Ayakha Jiyane (16), Siphesihle (10), Khwezi, (6) and Kuhlekonke (4) were laid to rest on Sunday.