Johannesburg - Since the start of the year, a shocking number of women and children have been killed in South Africa – many of them at the hands of their boyfriends or men they knew. It is the continuation of a national trend.
Every eight hours, a woman is killed by an intimate partner, according to the SA Medical Research Council.
One in five (21%) of women in a relationship have experienced physical violence by a partner, Stats SA said in its South Africa Demographic and Health Survey 2016 released in May.
Last week NPA Western Cape spokesperson said: "From January up to today, there have been 19 children that have been killed in the Western Cape. Twelve of those cases will go to the high court."
Here is a list of just 20 of these countrywide murders. Five of them were children. Two of the women were pregnant. Many more cases will go unreported:
Karabo Mokoena, 22
A passer-by found the part-time business student's body in a patch of veld in Bramley, Johannesburg, on April 29. Acid had been poured over her and she had been necklaced. Her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe, 27, was arrested and charged with murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Lerato Moloi, 27
She was one of four women found murdered in or near Naledi, Soweto, in just over a week this month. A 21-year-old youth found her body while cutting grass on May 14. A 30-year-old Lesotho national and a 32-year-old Malawian national have been arrested.
During their brief first appearance in the Protea Magistrate’s Court last week, one of the men allegedly confessed. He told Magistrate Herman Badenhorst that he knew that what he and his accomplice had done was bad.
Moloi had apparently been drinking with the men at a tavern the night before.
Popi Qwabe, 24
She was found shot, but still alive, near Naledi High School on Friday, May 12. She died in hospital.
Bongeka Phungula, 28
She was found dead in Tladi, Soweto. She had also been shot in the upper body. Police suspect she had been raped. She was a close friend of Qwabe’s.
One man was arrested for Qwabe and Phungula’s murders.
The girl was last seen playing in the street near her Elsies River home on May 4. After an extensive search, her body was found in a shallow grave beside unused railroad tracks in Epping on May 13. She had been raped twice and killed. The alleged killer, Mortimer Saunders, 40, had rented a space in her family's home.
Mavis Mabala, 25
Her body was found in bushes outside Phadzima village in Polokwane on May 19. Her 30-year-old boyfriend was arrested.
Priska Schalk, 29
She was stabbed to death in February. She was found handcuffed in her room in Kempton Park. Her security guard boyfriend was arrested in Limpopo.
Mananki Annah Boys, 28
Her body was left in a shack in Winnie’s Park, Boipatong, to decompose for several days in April. She had been stabbed and set alight. Her boyfriend allegedly confessed to committing the crime.
Nicola Pienaar, 28
The Paarl resident disappeared in January. Her body was found in a shallow grave in the yard of her boyfriend’s parents in the town later that month. She was six-months pregnant. The boyfriend, Jacobus Oosthuizen, was charged with her murder.
Akhona Njokana, 31
The resident of Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi, Durban, was shot dead in January. Her ex-boyfriend was arrested.
Thapelo Ramorotong, 26
Her boyfriend claimed that their car had caught fire while they were driving in Thabazimbi on March 5. He told police that the car had exploded and that he could not get her out. Police suspected foul play and arrested him. They apparently had an argument at their home shortly before her death.
Meisie Molefe, 36
She was murdered and set alight in January. Police found her burnt remains in Hammanskraal, Pretoria. She was reported missing in October 2016. Her boyfriend was arrested.
Sthembile Mdluli, 37
Sergeant Mdluli was a policewoman with the White River vehicle crime investigation unit. She was found in April, weeks after being reported missing. A male friend was arrested. He allegedly confessed and led police to where he had left her body, near Sabie, in Mpumalanga.
Stacsha Arendse, 11
Her naked body was found near the sports complex in Tafelsig, Mitchell's Plain, in March. Police found her clothes nearby. Randy Tango, 32, a neighbour of the family, was arrested.
Rene-Tracy Roman, 13
The Lavender Hill girl disappeared after going to a shop on March 10. Her body was found hidden in a neighbour’s Wendy house in St Agatha Crescent. Andrew Plaatjies, 50, was arrested for the murder.
Her body was found in a plastic bag dumped near her aunt’s house in Khayelitsha in April. Two men were arrested.
Jeannette Cindi, 34
Cindi was raped and she and her boyfriend Lungelo Buthelezi, 31, were doused with petrol and set alight, allegedly by a group of five men in Tshepisong, on the West Rand, in April. She was five months pregnant.
In April a 34-year-old unidentified woman, was, raped, stoned and set alight, allegedly by a group of seven men.
On May 13, an as yet unidentified woman was found on a dumping site in Mofolo, some 7km from Naledi, Soweto. She was burnt beyond recognition.
In May, a two-year-old Khayelitsha girl was raped and murdered. The 25-year-old father, recently released from prison, was arrested.