Qwabe and Phungula were raped and murdered in 2017. Charges against the two men arrested in connection with their case were dropped and Amnesty International SA says no thorough investigation has taken place, leaving the families in the dark with no hope of justice being served.
Thankfully, in 2020, Amnesty International highlighted Qwabe and Phungula’s case during the annual Write for Rights campaign, and the investigation into their murders was reopened, bringing their families one step closer to justice. Over 341,000 Amnesty supporters signed the petition to demand this. The matter is now with the National Prosecuting Authority.
According to Amnesty International’s annual report for 2021, there were 117 cases of femicide in the first half of the year, while there were 14,188 reported cases of sexual offences between October and December.
“The justice system needs to play its part in ensuring that there are consequences for these crimes and accountability is needed from the state when it comes to ensuring that everyone living in the country is safe,” Mohamed said.
Amnesty International SA launched the third phase of its gender-based violence campaign, #InterruptBrokenPromises on April 19.
The campaign demands:
- The immediate establishment of a national council on gender-based violence and femicide, including the development of a costed and funded operational plan.
- The DNA backlog of 58,000 cases is cleared by the end of September, as publicly committed to by minister for police Bheki Cele on March 24.
- The immediate rollout of appropriate, mandatory and continuous victim-centric training for personnel in the criminal justice system, increased transparency about how many people have been trained, and the impact of the training.
- For clear, measurable annual performance targets to be developed for every indicator of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF, and for this information to be made publicly available.
- For transparent, timely, accurate and regular progress reports to be made public and accessible on a biannual basis by all relevant government departments on the implementation of the above indicators and aligning their performance and targets across all annual performance plans, annual reports and the National Strategic Plan on GBVF.