Mourning the

2017-06-01 06:02
Mam Mhlontlo of Sinethemba National Baptist Church during the service. PHOTOS: tarzan mbita/Facebook

Mam Mhlontlo of Sinethemba National Baptist Church during the service. PHOTOS: tarzan mbita/Facebook

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On Sunday, Sinethemba National Baptist Church, among others, held a service dedicated as a day of mourning by Christian denominations across the country and to be observed by females dressing in black attire and wearing red lipstick.

Ilitha Labantu, one of the oldest NGOs in the province was invited to talk on a subject that is engulfing the whole nation today.

However, even before the guests could speak, it was revealed that Reverend Phiwe Daweti and his wife Nomiki had a rude awakening that morning.

At around 5AM, one girl called Mam’Daweti to break the news of her rape at the hands of five adult males.

The girl,14, was on her way to a friend’s house not far from where she stays. She said they had gagged her with a chemical that left her confused, was bundled into the car they pretended to be fixing as she passed by, and took her to a house where they took turns to rape her. She said her rape rodeal took place inside a double storeyed house in Gugulethu.

After the ordeal, they left her in the house. She fled and lived to narrate her story to the reverend and his wife. Police said they are investigating the rape. Her particulars cannot be revealed as she is still a minor.

The day was marked in response to the scourge of rape, murder and abuse of women at the hands of their partners, which is on the rise.

Two weeks ago, the country woke up to the sad news of the gruesome death of Karabo Mokoena,22, whose charred body was found in a shallow grave in Diepkloof, Soweto, Johannesburg.

Her abusive boyfriend was arrested soon afterwards and is facing trial. Her death received unprecedented media coverage, if only because prior to her death, Karabo had been posting pictures of her swollen face and body on her Facebook page, pointing fingers at her boyfriend.

On Sunday, church attendees gasped in horror as Mrs Daweti told of the events that unfolded that morning.

However, members of Ilitha Labantu said they deal with these terrible news on a regular basis.

Nomaxaba Mqela said domestic violence is real and that churches must talk about these issues more often.

Just as the church was shocked at the rape of the 14-year-old, she announced that they were dealing with the cases of a four-year and six-months-old rape victims.

“People would rather flee to lions than other human beings these days,”she said.

She said what compounded matter was women lying to protect their partners in cases of abuse.

“Women would say their limbs were broken during a car accident than because of domestic violence.”

Nombeko Lephuthing spoke of the abuse of the elderly in society.

“The theft of their pension grants and their cards is a big problem in our society,” she aded.

Bongile Tshandu, also from Ilitha Labantu said violence was not perpetrated by the unemployed or men by the side of the road, but rather by people close to the victims.

“Men should stand up and say: “not in our name”, Tshandu stressed.

It was shameful that men could raise their hands on peorsons who cannot even retaliate at the time of beating, he added.

“Some kids cannot even concentrate in school because they come from abusive families,” he concluded.

Phumza Monakali said the nation was under siege because of the attackes on girl children and women, including the elederly.

She also revealed that most cases of abuse take place in the Western Cape, and most perpetrators were feared by the community because of their notoriety.

“If we keep quiet because the bully has killed the child next door, who do we know is going to be killed(by the same perpetrator) next.”

Ilitha Labantu has partnered with other organisations and have launched the “One too many” project, to raise awareness about the rapes and murders of girls and women.

The organisation and its affiliates is planning to march to the Provincial Parliament on Wednesday June 14.

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