Slain woman’s family traumatised

Aunt of the late Nomvuzo Atoli, Zandile Atoli says while they want justice to be served, nothing can bring their child back.

The gruesome murder of a Nomvuzo Atoli, 22, has left the community of Philippi enraged.

Nomvuzo’s body was found discarded in a dumpster on the bank of a dam in Siyanyanzela informal settlement, on the morning of Thursday August 20.

The site where her body was found is not far from where that of 17-year-old Amahle Quku was found two months ago.

On the day Nomvuzo’s body was found, young people took to the streets in protest, barricading some of them with rubbish and stones.

Nomvuzo’s heartbroken aunt Zandile Atoli said the family was devastated.

“She was everything to us. This happened a few months after her mother’s death in March of this year. We as a family are still mourning about that and now her,” she said.

“We are still in deep debt with her mother’s funeral and now this.

“It is difficult for us to bury her because we are not working,” she told Vukani at her Phillipi home on Friday.

Ms Atoli said that she found out about her niece’s death when she was awoken by residents who came shouting at her home that her niece’s body had been found.

She said the news was “just unbelievable because I last saw her when she came to fetch her jersey”.

“When she did not come home, I thought she was late and decided to sleep over at her friends as she normally does.

“I was shocked to see her body in a rubbish container.

“There was rubbish on top of her. Only one leg was out,” she said.

While the family want the perpetrator to be brought to book, she said, nothing would bring back Nomvuzo.

“Will (the arrest) that help the family? No, because that won’t bring her back to life. The damage is huge. All we must struggle to do now is to bury her. We call on those who can help us do so.”

Ms Atoli said Nomvuzo had just passed Grade 12 and was working as a hairdresser to earn money.

The family and the community are calling for an end to violence against women.

Representatives of the Answered Prayers Foundation, a Philippi-based non-profit organisation that works with victims of gender-based violence, visited Nomvuzo’s home after hearing about her untimely death.

The foundation’s founder Reverend Anita Pamla said: “We visited the late Nomvuzo Atoli’s family after receiving such devastating news that this young girl was brutally killed – and yet we are still celebrating Women’s Month.

“It seems that women are not safe. This unfortunate incident happened just after Amahle Quku’s incident and this is totally unacceptable.

“May her soul rest in peace,” she said, calling on community members to come forward with the information of her murderer.

Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siya Monakali has urged men and communities at large, to stand up against gender-based violence.

“As communities we need to come out and denounce these incidents.

“If men are going to be silent, we will continue to have a high rate of these incidents,” he said.

“As men let’s hold each other accountable. We need to go out and lobby too.

“The statistics of gender-based violence are ever increasing in the Western Cape.”

Nyanga police station spokesperson Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi confirmed the incident, explaining that police had attended to a scene in Brown’s Farm and on arrival had found the body of the 22-year-old woman with head and face injuries in a container at the dumping site at the back of Siyanyanzela informal settlement.

She said police were investing a case of murder and that no arrests had yet been made.

Anyone with information can contact Nyanga SAPS detectives at 021 380 3304/3368/3320 or 082 469 2470 or Crime Stop at 0860010111.