'Underground rape culture exists', Khayelitsha women say in Sinoxolo case

2016-05-09 16:30
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town – Young women living in the same part of Khayelitsha where Sinoxolo Mafevuka was raped and killed have spoken out against the “underground rape culture” holding them hostage.

Thirty-seven women of SST section signed a petition under the banner of “Zero Tolerance”, against the granting of bail for two suspects.

Investigating Officer Bakiti Tshabalala read the petition out during the men’s bail application in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The women said the 19-year-old’s killing in February made international headlines and was the turning point for them.

“The culture of rape is prevalent and has no consequence. We are victims of crime and all sorts of atrocities and our parents are not equipped to deal with these sorts of issues,” Tshabalala read out.

There was an underground rape culture and the brutality of what happened to Mafevuka confirmed something needed to be done, they said.

The women accused the men’s family of “victimising, insulting and threatening” them. They intended applying for a protection order from police.

The 19-year-old's naked body was found sprawled over the seat in a public toilet, with water flowing from the cistern.

Her boyfriend’s cousins, aged 21 and 26, were arrested in March, two weeks after her body was found. The magistrate had ordered that their identities not be made public, to ensure their safety.


Another petition with 119 signatures, from the Progressive Youth Movement, was also read out in court on Monday. It spoke out against the brutal murder and expressed concerns about the safety of young women.

Defence lawyer Thabo Nogemane said he would object if the State wanted to hand up the petitions. He said the petitions were hearsay and only relevant if he could cross-examine the authors.

Turning to the packed public gallery, he said: “I want even people listening at the back to hear that the accused before court here are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

Read more on:    sinoxolo mafevuka  |  cape town  |  crime

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