Minister of Women on surge in femicides: The country is in a deep crisis

The country is mourning the deaths of several women across the country over the past few weeks.

A mourner holds a placard demanding justice for Tshegofatso Pule at her funeral in Meadowlands, Soweto. The murdered 28-year-old was laid to rest on 11 June 2020. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Minister of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has acknowledged the country is in a deep crisis as authorities grapple to deal with the latest increase in femicides.

There are also growing calls for the speedy implementation of government's national strategic plan on gender-based violence and femicide.

This as the country mourns the deaths of several women across the country over the past few weeks.

On Monday Gauteng police arrested a man linked to the murder of his girlfriend after her body was found in Eersterus on Sunday.

Police are also following up on all leads to find the criminals who murdered a 25-year old woman after her decomposed body was found on the side of the highway in the south of Johannesburg on Sunday.

Her hands had been tied together with rope and her body had been stuffed in a bag before being dumped.

In Roodepoort, 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule was found stabbed and hanging from a tree about a week ago. She was 8-months pregnant.

And in Cape Town, there were at least three femicide cases before the courts on Monday.

Sithembele Klaas stands accused of killing and dismembering 34-year-old Sibongiseni Gabada.

Her remains were found in a bag next to a shack in H-section in Khayelitsha on 29 May.

Klaas was re-arrested over the weekend after charges were initially withdrawn and on Monday he was remanded in custody until a bail hearing next month.

In another matter before the courts on Monday, Ryan Smith appeared in connection with the fatal stabbings of 27-year-old Altecia Kortjie and her 7-year old daughter Raynecia in Belhar last week.

He will remain behind bars until his next court appearance on Monday.

Nkoana-Mashabane said these killings were worrisome.

“We are aware that this fight is bigger than government. And we need communities’ help in curbing this epidemic. Communities can play a big role in curbing this epidemic,” said spokesperson Mmabatho Ramompi.

Human rights organisation Sonke Gender Justice believes violence increased when level three came into effect and the ban on alcohol sales was lifted.