Angry members of NGOs and advocacy groups protested outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Monday January 15 as the man accused of burning his girlfriend with boiling water made an appearance.
The groups called for men to put women’s safety at the top of their agenda and stop the abuse against them.
The Harare man allegedly flung boiling water at Nomabhongo Ndlondlo’s head, causing her to suffer burns all over her body.
Nompumelelo Matshini said she found her sister in pain in her shack on New Year’s eve.
She immediately called for an ambulance as her badly burnt sister cried for help. “She called me and I had to rush to see her. I found her in a very bad state,” she told Vukani.
Ms Matshini, who took part in the protest on Monday, said she doesn’t want to see the man accused of the crime.
“He does not deserve to be among people. He is cruel beyond the word cruel. I hope he does not get bail. In fact, he must get a tough sentence. I wish the law can play its part. Domestic violence cases should be taken seriously.”
Ms Ndlondlo remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition.
The case has been postponed to Wednesday January 24.
The organisations said they would again picket outside the court to oppose bail.
Democratic Alliance (DA) Khayelitsha constituency leader, Thandeka Gqada called on women to take domestic violence and the abuse of women seriously.
“Let’s show support against the victims. We need to oppose violence. We need to be here on the 23rd in numbers to oppose bail for the perpetrator. If needs be, we need to fill this whole place and the court. There should be no space,” she said.
Condemning the act, activist Nocawe Mankayi called on women to unite against such crimes.
She said women had been victims for far too long and that must end.
Ms Mankayi said people needed to stop politicising women’s issues and take them seriously.
“This has nothing to do with politics. This is a serious issue that women face on a daily basis. This has nothing to do with the DA or the ANC or any other political party,” she said.
Nontando Mhlabeni, from the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) called for harsher sentences for abusers.
She said the SJC condemned the abuse of women and there should be no bail for perpetrators.
DA Women Network’s Ncumisa Mahangu called on men to talk to each other about abuse.
She questioned the culture of initiation in the context of rife violence against women.
“If what they do in the initiation schools in not working, hand them to us we will circumcise them,” she said.
The United South African Civic Organisation’s provincial chairperson Khayalethu Vezi also called for harsher sentences for those found guilty of abuse.
He said the barbaric acts against women must stop immediately.