Women are still under siege in SA

Nolundi Dondolo was gunned down by her former boyfriend this week. The writer says victims of gender-based violence like her must get justice.
Nolundi Dondolo was gunned down by her former boyfriend this week. The writer says victims of gender-based violence like her must get justice.

In February, Nolundi Dondolo broke up with her boyfriend Themba Ndlovu.

He refused to let go.

She asked her family to intervene to get him to accept her decision.

On Tuesday, a family meeting was held at her Katlehong home on the East Rand.

He still would not accept the rejection.

After the meeting, Ndlovu left the family's main house and followed her into her backyard room.

He shot at her and missed. She ran out and he followed her to the street.

In front of her mother, he shot her twice in the head and then turned the gun on himself.

The tragedy is an all too familiar one in this country.

Every year statistics are bandied about which tell a painful and frightening story of women under siege from their partners - men who supposedly love them.

The current lockdown period has been no different, it brought no relief to women trapped in such relationships.

If anything, it has been an agonising time for many women and children locked indoors with their tormentors.

Last year NGO LifeLine received 81,431 calls for help from people in distress, many of them victims of gender-based violence while others were depression and anxiety related.

Last month alone the organisation received 79,325 calls of a similar nature.

This places into sharp focus the crisis we are in, albeit exacerbated by the current lockdown.

What we often do not know is what ultimately happens to perpetrators of these crimes, in particular those whose victims may not get public attention.

In recent years the government has made bold commitments to fighting gender-based violence.

These, and the proclaimed investments they come with, are welcomed.

However, what will ultimately build public confidence that this fight is being taken seriously is to see systemic changes in law enforcement which promote transparency as well as build necessary efficiency on the ground.

Justice for victims of gender-based violence must be done and be seen by all to be done.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X