Continued calls to end violence against women and children go unheeded in Free State

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Free State Organisations, churches and Government officials standing against GBV. Photo: Kekeletso Mosebetsi.

The persistent pleas to end the killing of women and children in the Free State seem to fall on deaf ears, after reports of the death of another woman murdered by her husband in Bothaville.

Mahlomola Kareli, Free State police spokesperson, reported that on Wednesday (3/7), at approximately 16:20, a man arrived at the Bothaville police station seeking assistance, claiming that his wife was lying in a pool of blood near an informal settlement called “Mezwinking”.

Police and emergency medical personnel rushed to the scene, where they found the woman with multiple stab wounds and declared her dead.

‘This occurred on the same day that men and women marched against GBV’

“Preliminary investigations led to the arrest of the 29-year-old husband for murder. Investigations continue, and the suspect will appear in court soon,” said Kareli.

This harrowing incident occurred on the same day that men and women from all around Mangaung marched to the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court to protest against the rampant Gender-Based Violence in the province (GBV).

The march, led by Free State Premier MaQueen Letshoha Mathae, Mangaung Metro Speaker Lawrence Mathae, church leaders, members of the former premier’s foundation, and various organizations, called for justice for all women who have fallen victim to such violence.

Men and women from various organisations, churches, and provincial government marching against GBV. Photo: Kekeletso Mosebetsi.

The protest took place during yet another court appearance of Stephen Songezo, who recently made headlines for murdering his girlfriend, a teacher at Tsoseletso High School, Mpho Moalosi.

Songezo’s case was postponed to 15 August 2024. He is also under investigation for 14 other GBV cases and will appear in court on July 18 in a separate rape matter.

In another case, Simphiwe Macdonald Masithela appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday (2/7) for allegedly stabbing and murdering his girlfriend. His case was postponed to Tuesday (9/7) after his defense lawyer requested more time to gather bail information, to which the prosecutor did not object.

Premier Mathae has been vocal about the recent incidents of violence against women in the province, urging men, church leaders, and organizations to take a firm stance against GBV.

“The killing of women in our province is a crisis that demands immediate and decisive action,” Mathae stated. “We must all come together to create a safe environment for our women and children.”

Despite numerous protests, public outcries, and government initiatives, the scourge of GBV continues to plague the Free State.

OFM News/Kekeletso Mosebetsi