Black lives matter too - Khayelitsha protesters

2016-03-15 21:15
Sinoxolo Mafevuka. (Thulani Gqirana, News24)

Sinoxolo Mafevuka. (Thulani Gqirana, News24)

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EXCLUSIVE: Mother's devastating visit to where Sinoxolo was dumped

2016-03-15 13:40

For the first time since her daughter's half-clothed body was found slumped over a public toilet two weeks ago, Nowethu Mafevuka visits the site of the grim discovery.WATCH

Cape Town - The safety of the two men accused of raping and killing Khayelitsha teen Sinoxolo Mafevuka should be the last thing the courts should worry about, irate protesters said after the suspects’ first court appearance on Tuesday.

“What about our safety?” asked Patience Qabi an outraged mother of two outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court.

“These men are standing accused of killing a mother’s child in the most brutal way. Her life was taken in an ugly manner. What about her safety?”

This comes after magistrate Xolani Menyiwe during proceedings requested that no details or addresses of the accused be released for their safety.

The two suspects, aged 21 and 26, were arrested on Monday, two weeks after the 19-year-old's half naked body was found in a communal toilet.

Angry residents from Town Two and the surrounding communities took to the streets in protests of what they called a lack of adequate policing and the authorities’ failure to give the investigation into Mafevuka’s murder the attention it deserved.

Qabi said it upset her that murders “committed in the suburbs” resulted in arrests within days.

“So if people with dark skin die, it’s not as urgent? Black lives matter, too.

"That teenager that was killed in Tokai was sad and upsetting, but what about our Sinoxolo? Why are we walking here to draw attention to her story, when police should have jumped on her attackers as quickly as they jumped on that girl’s case?”

Xabisa Ntete, who lived in the same community as Mafevuka and who was there when the body was found, said when she closed her eyes she could still see the grim scene of Mafevuka’s body inside a communal toilet where residents found her two weeks ago.

“It was a horrible thing to witness,” she said. “No person deserves to die like that, especially when they are still young.”

She fears walking to the toilet on her own since the attack.

“I constantly look over my shoulder. This is not how I want to live, but what choice do I have? The danger in this community is real.”

Her sister, Nqabisa Ntete, said it was ironic that Mafevuka was killed in human rights month.

“There is nothing human about the way Sinoxolo died in the hands of [people] who see nothing wrong with raping and killing,” she said.

The attention given to Mafevuka’s case is in stark contrast to that of Franziska Blöchliger, 16, who was killed in Tokai Forest days later, Nqabisa argued, saying there was “nothing human about being treated as second class citizens”.

She added that it was a “wise decision” by Menyiwe to request that the accused’s details not be released.

“Yes, suspects are not guilty until they are convicted in court, but people are angry. We have reason to be. They could be in danger if they are released on bail.”

The duo’s lawyer Thabo Nogemane said as far as he was aware, his clients had only been charged with rape, to which they would plead not guilty.

The suspects had no previous or pending cases, he added.

The matter was postponed to March 24.

Read more on:    sinoxolo mafevuka  |  cape town  |  crime

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