Gugulethu community gathers to remember slain Sandisiwe

Family and friends of Sandisiwe Guqa converged at the spot where her naked body was found lifeless. In her remembrance and many other victims of gender based violence, candles were lit.

Mourning the death of Sandisiwe Guqa and other victims of gender-based violence, police, church leaders, friends, young people, and residents of Gugulethu held a candlelight ceremony where her naked body was found on Valentine’s Day.

Family and friends, still reeling from the experience, remembered Ms Guqa as a woman who loved life and was always smiling.

The 31-year-old was found in a passageway in the Kanana informal settlement on Sunday February 14.

On Friday March 5, young people, most of them dressed in black, and led by Gugulethu Police Youth Desk, condemned any form of violence against women.

Yolande Yabu hands over a ribbon to the Guqa family as a remembrance of Sandisiwe whose body was found on Valentine’s Day.

Constable Phunyezwe Homana said the killing of young people should be condemned by all and described it as another pandemic.

“We expect a lot from young people. These are future leaders that we should nurture instead of killing them.

“Gender-based violence is another pandemic after the one we are experiencing now. Today we are here to ask the Almighty to rescue us from the killers. As young people of Gugulethu we could not keep quiet,” she said.

Pastors from different churches led the prayers at the scene where Sandisiwe Guqa was found dead.

Provincial Women’s Network GBV champion Joyce Sakati said no one deserved to die just because they were walking outside at night. Why, she asked, should women and girls be afraid to do so?

“Bafelani abantu ababhinqileyo? Why are women being killed. There should be no walking for them at night while men can go. That is unfair and should not be promoted. These men should be the protectors of women. We will not keep quiet while women are being killed,” she said.

A relative of young woman whose life was being honoured, Pastor Phumzile Guqa said Ms Guqa had been much-loved by the family and was deeply missed.

“We are grateful that you’ve remembered her. We need more of such campaigns against these cruel murderers,” he said, adding that Ms Guqa’s parents had taken ill since her tragic death.

Police spokesperson Constable Sindisiwe Ngqele stressed that Gugulthu police would continue to fight gender-based violence.