- Nikita Maloni, 28, was stabbed and killed, allegedly by a man she had obtained a protection order against.
- Athenkosi Nzima, 33, has been denied bail by the Zwelitsha Magistrate's Court for the murder.
- The government has described August as a very dark and brutal Women's Month.
An Eastern Cape woman who obtained a protection order against an abusive ex-boyfriend has been stalked and killed, allegedly by the suspect while he was being sought for violating the court order.
Nikita Maloni, 28, from Kwatshatshu village outside Qonce, was murdered while walking home from work on Friday afternoon.
Her murder ended what the South African government described as a very dark and brutal Women's Month.
The accused, Athenkosi Nzima, was denied bail by the Zwelitsha Magistrate's Court after his appearance on Tuesday.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said the case was postponed to 2 November for further investigation.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana said the accused was on the run from authorities at the time of the attack.
Kinana said: "It is believed that the two had a history of domestic violence, and at the time of the incident, the suspect has been on the run. The circumstances which led to the killing are currently under investigation."
According to Maloni's family, the pair broke up eight months ago due to a very toxic relationship.
Despite the break up and a protection order, Nzima was alleged to have continued terrorising Maloni.
Maloni's cousin, Simanye Mtofu said:
Mtofu was speaking to News24 telephonically outside Tshatshu community hall where Maloni's memorial service was underway on Thursday.
Mtofu said Maloni reported the incidents to the police on several occasions, but Nzima would evade arrest by going into hiding.
She said the couple, who had a seven-month-old baby together, called it quits due to physical fights over allegations of cheating they had levelled against each other.
Mtofu said Maloni's 70-year-old mother was struggling to come to terms with the murder, as her cash-loan businessman husband, was murdered last year during a robbery at their home.
Asked to describe Maloni, Mtofu said: "Nikita was fun to hang out with. The way she smiled and laughed was so adorable. She was just entertaining. We always wanted to gather around her all the time because she had such an amazing sense of humour. She used to crack us up all the time."
Maloni worked for a well-known textile factory in Qonce.
Her name was now added to an ever-growing list of victims of gender-based violence across South Africa.
The government said the brutal acts of violence against women were a stark reminder that the ongoing fight against gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) was nowhere near its end.
In a statement, the government condemned the killing of women and called for the fight against gender-based violence to be intensified.
The statement came in the wake of the brutal murder of University of Fort Hare law student Nosicelo Mtebeni, 23, whose dismembered body was discovered dumped in a suitcase in Quigney, East London on 19 August.
- Palesa Maruping, 29, who was found hanging from the ceiling of a house in Khuma Location near Stilfontein, North West, on 18 August.
- Pheliswa "Dolly" Sawutana, 32, who was strangled to death with shoelaces in Kosovo informal settlement in Cape Town on 21 August.
- University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana was raped and murdered inside a Post Office in Claremont, Cape Town on 24 August 2019.
- Karabo Mokoena was killed by her ex-boyfriend on 28 April 2017 in Johannesburg before her body was set alight in an attempt to conceal the murder.
- The decapitated body of Eastern Cape caregiver Noluvuyo Ndema-Nonkwelo, 36, was recently exhumed underneath her marital home's bathtub more than two years after her husband reported her missing. He has been charged with her murder.