Concerned Lusiksiki residents shut down the whole town marching in huge numbers to the magistrate office to submit a memorandum of understanding. The brave locals echoed their displeasure with the justice system, stating that this office is doing not enough to protect its citizens. The march started from St Elizabeth hospital road and moved up through the CBD, with scores of people joining in to support the cause. The support was admirable with businesses closing during this march and allowing its employees to join in the protest.
On arrival at the offices, the leaders spearheading this march proceeded to read the memorandum for all in attendance. In the memorandum, the residents highlighted how the justice system is not doing enough to protect women and children against men who rape, assault and kill them. They made a casing point in this respect, refering to a man who was abusing the mother of his child, the mother reported this incident to the authorities leading to his arrest. After a few days the man was released on bail going back to this helpless woman and further harassing her. This woman is still suffering from that to this point without help. In the memorandum the residents are interested to know how this justice system handle cases involving the abuse of women and children. The cases in question involve:
Another point on this matter was raised based on an incident that happened at Hombe location where a woman was raped, stabbed and burned to death and the public has not heard any form of actionable communication from the Department of Justice pertaining to this case. The people are still waiting on the steps the authorities have taken to deal with what happened. In the memorandum, the residents also want to know about the case involving two minors at Joe Slovo township, whom were allegedly raped by an elderly man from the same community. The memorandum touched on the recent incident involving a minor (6) whom was raped by a 52-year-old man. A learner from Mqikela Senior Secondary School raped on her way from attending evening study classes at school. The people want to know, why does the system allow these perpetrators to walk free shortly after committing such heinous crimes? What does the state do to ensure the safety of the victims and those that prone to such offenses?
The last point on the memorandum states that, when these perpetrators are released on bail, is there any form of communication to the victims and their families and are there any measures implemented by the authorities to ensure their safety. The residents therefore demand that anyone who commits crimes of murder and rape must not under any circumstances be granted bail because when granted the bail chances are high the perpetrator might go back and do it again. Therefor the demand is that those whom are accused of such crimes deserve to spend the rest of their lives in prison. There residents pleaded with the justice system to do everything within their means and beyond to protect women and children in their homes and communities. With all that has been said the residents expect a response for their grievances within seven days.
Mr Monwabisi Gqobhoka the chief magistrate was not available to face the people, in his place he sent Ms Nontathu Dangakwa an additional magistrate to receive the memorandum on his behalf. The additional magistrate assured the residents that the chief magistrate will be given this memorandum and promised a response within 14 days. The residents insisted on the 7 days window for a response.
Those whom have fallen victim to rape or any other sexual assault are urged to contact : Mrs N Gqwetha 073 766 0373.
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