Yet another young Eastern Cape woman stabbed to death, allegedly by boyfriend

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Asalinto Lumkwana was stabbed to death allegedly by her boyfriend Tshepo Cheke in Butterworth on Saturday afternoon. (Supplied)
Asalinto Lumkwana was stabbed to death allegedly by her boyfriend Tshepo Cheke in Butterworth on Saturday afternoon. (Supplied)
  • 26-year-old Asalinto Lumkwana from Butterworth was allegedly stabbed to death by Tshepo Cheka.
  • Cheka appeared in the Butterworth Magistrate's Court for the murder of the mother of one. 
  • Her family alleges Asalinto was trapped in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship for four years.

Yet another young woman in the Eastern Cape has been brutally murdered, allegedly by her boyfriend.

Asalinto Lumkwana, a 26-year-old mother, was allegedly stabbed to death by Tshepo Cheka on Saturday afternoon.

Cheka, 24, appeared briefly at the Butterworth Magistrate's Court on Monday on a charge of murder.

The case has been postponed to 14 September for a formal bail application and Cheka has been remanded in custody.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci said the accused had not yet been asked to plead to the charge.

"The arrest and court appearance follows the arrest of the suspect by Msobomvu SAPS for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, aged 26. It is alleged that the 26-year old woman was stabbed on Saturday 5 September 2020 at about 03:40 at Mchubakazi Township, Butterworth," said Soci. 

The attack happened on the streets of Butterworth, said Asalinto's family.

Lumkwana's friends and family members were inconsolable when News24 called for comment.

Sister Kude Lumkwana said that, during a four-year relationship with Cheka, Asalinto had gradually changed from being a confident and expressive person into a silent individual. She claimed Cheka had been "terrorising her".

"He was physically and emotionally abusing her," she alleged.

"Asalinto was trapped in that relationship because Tshepo was threatening to kill her every time she would dump him. She was living in fear of her own boyfriend. We are very disturbed about this," said Kude.

Fikiswa Lumkwana, 43, posted a heart-breaking tribute to her slain sister on WhatsApp:

My heart is bleeding unstoppable because they have made me a guardian to an orphan, they have rendered my nephew motherless, they have killed my sister mercilessly, moreover, my mother will never be well from today onwards. I am now a mother to a 6-year-old boy because of the killer next door, and now I have to pick up the pieces of their evil deed. I am so heartbroken, and I will never heal again, not now, not forever. I shall never forgive the killers of my younger sister, not in this life time.

Cheka and Asalinto were neighbours, with their homes separated by four properties.

According to the family, the incident started over a laptop and a sound system.

'Stabbed over a sound system'

According to Kude, Asalinto was coming from the police station with a friend to tell Cheka she had confiscated his sound system.

This because Cheka had allegedly failed, for three years, to hand back a laptop belonging to her, and "had been making excuses about handing it back".

"My parents had started asking questions to my sister about the whereabouts of the laptop. She had no choice but to try and force him to hand it back, hence she seized the sound system."

At the police station, Kude said her sister had been told by police to hand back the sound system because "she was exposing herself to criminal prosecution for theft."

"While she was walking back home, she bumped into Tshepo Cheka and, without asking anything, he stabbed her to death," alleged Kude.

The killing of Lumkwana comes two weeks after Wits University student Asithandile Zozo was also stabbed to death in August, allegedly by a boyfriend, in Dutywa near Butterworth.

The suspect in that case Viwe Rulumeni, 22, abandoned bail pleas and remains behind bars pending his trial.

His next court date is 6 October.

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