A deafening call to end the silence

The outcry has been immense following the tragic death of Uyinene Mrwetyana after she went missing a few weeks ago, and rightly so.

The 19-year-old died in a place many of us would least expect – a post office. She was raped and knocked unconscious by her killer, who dumped her body in Khayelitsha.

One can only imagine the terrifying state of mind she was in, when a stranger decided to force himself on her. This monstrous act from a 42-year-old man, old enough to be her father, nogal. There’s a 23-year gap between him and Uyinene.

He knew everything he was doing. Remember, he was in his workplace, where he is tasked to assist the public. Instead of doing his job, the man decided otherwise.

Uyinene was a first-year student at UCT and surely, like most youths her age, was looking forward to a bright future. But her dreams were short-lived, not even getting a chance to develop or be realised.

Her parents, immediate family and friends must be devastated – as is the rest of the country . . . Or are South Africans really? If so, what are we doing about it?

It’s a sad reality that women of this country live in fear daily, all at the hands of evil men! These men do not come from another planet, they live among us. They are our brothers, uncles, sons and fathers.

If such things occur in front of you and you keep quiet, you’re just as evil as they are. What is the country doing about these men, who have no shame in hurting, violating and murdering women in any way they see fit.

This occurs more often than reported. And the sad reality is that this may not be the end of it.

This was not the first incident of a young woman disappearing and only her body parts being returned to her family. Some go missing forever . . .

It’s tragic and mind-boggling. Is this the society girl children have to grow up in? What is the solution to this national tragedy? What are you doing in your little corner to ensure this doesn’t happen?

The rampant and countless initiatives don’t seem to bare any fruits to bring it to a halt. What would be the perfect deterrent to these anomalies? Could the death penalty be a solution?

I ask because it seems possible incarceration does not seem to scare perpetrators. Perhaps it’s time we explore other avenues, amend the Constitution so we can deal with this issue once and for all?

Will eliminating such individuals through the death penalty bring this violent scourge to an end?

A part of me believes not, because we have seen many suspected thugs being set alight or beaten to a pulp or to death by vigilantes, but this doesn’t stop crime. It continues unabated. It may minimise it, but that is not enough. We have to completely uproot it.

What do we do as a nation? We have been complaining long enough, it’s time to take action and see what comes from it. Remember: my child is still your child; this can happen to any of us. For now, let us shout “enough” in unison!V Share your views on this opinion by sending an email to mzwanele.mkalipi@media24.com.

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