United in tragedy

2018-01-24 06:00
Members of the Kimberley community joined hands and peacefully marched through the streets against women abuse on Friday (19/01).Photos: Boipelo Mere

Members of the Kimberley community joined hands and peacefully marched through the streets against women abuse on Friday (19/01).Photos: Boipelo Mere

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The community of Kimberley took a step against the scourge of women abuse on Friday (19/01), a day before the burial of Refilwe Letebele (28), who was allegedly stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend.

The community heeded the call of the deceased’s father, Norman, who made a plea that his daughter’s death should not be in vain, but should be a lesson to many.

The 32-year-old suspect is set to make a brief court appearance in the Kimberley Magistrates’ Court today on a charge of murder following his release from hospital.

He was admitted on the day of the murder after reportedly attempting to slit his own throat.

Letebele was buried on Saturday (20/01). Her father requested that all the men stand up while he read a moving poem.

Dressed in red T-shirts, over 200 members of the community, in partnership with Operation Wanya Tsotsi, engaged in the peaceful #AntiFemicideMarch towards Letebele’s home, where they convened a prayer service.

Nthabiseng Leborwane, one of her colleagues at the Department of Rural Development, described her as a supportive and unselfish person who expected nothing in return.

“I shared an office with her when I arrived at the department and she taught me a lot. And I was not the only one, because she continued to frequent our office even after she left to work at Seda,” said Leborwane.

“It is because of her encouragement on the importance of education that I managed to complete my diploma.

“She was younger than me, but more like a mentor.”

During the march, the heartbroken mourners emphasised the call for women to stop the tendency of suffering in silence in fear of being judged or blamed.

“Women, let us not suffer in silence, because this is what happens.

“As soon as he lays a hand on you, report it immediately. Because if you suffer in silence, we will never be able to assist you,” Monase Leborwane urged.

She was referring to rumours of how the deceased was a victim of abuse and suffered in silence without ever reporting it to anyone.

Tebogo Obusitse lashed out against passive men who watch in silence while women are abused, waiting until a life is lost before they speak up.

Obusitse commented that repeatedly saying “not in my name” will not help end the scourge of women abuse.

“We sit here and say that, but it will not help, as women continue to be brutally killed by us and our brothers,” said Obusitse.

“Think deep that tomorrow it might be your mother, sister or daughter. Let us not wait for another Fifi.

“My brothers, you and me, we see these things happening every day, but we keep quiet until we hear messages like these, then we say ‘I should have done something’, only to later return to our default modes, as is our nature.

“Or maybe it is just because it is not my sister or my child,” Obusitse said.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Enter the examination number or search by province or school (NSC Students) to view results.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.