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Activists call for GBV plight to be heard at the Constitutional Court after 21 murders during lockdown

Activist, Roegshanda Pascoe. file image

Activist, Roegshanda Pascoe. file image

Published Jan 18, 2022


Cape Town - On the eve of the funeral of the 19-year-old woman who was murdered and dumped in a wheelie bin in Manenberg, activists have made a massive public appeal in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa to take their gender-based violence (GBV) plight to the highest courts.

They said 21 women and children were murdered during lockdown.

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Elene Lino’s funeral. supplied

Today, 19-year-old Elene Lino was laid to rest.

Lino’s body was found in a wheelie bin in Manenberg on January 9.

Police confirmed a 49-year-old suspect was arrested.

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Lino is believed to have been stabbed by her estranged boyfriend.

Natasha Booise and Elena Lino were murdered, allegedly at the hands of their partners. Facebook images

After the murders of Lino and Natasha Booise of Piketberg, activists are rallying to take their plight to the Constitutional Court under the banner of Action Unity against GBV.

Police spokesperson, Captain Frederick van Wyk, confirmed a suspect had been arrested in Mitchell’s Plain on January 14.

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“Kindly be advised that a 49-year-old man who was sought on a murder charge was arrested on Friday by members of the metro police in Mitchells Plain.

“It is suspected that he killed a 19-year-old female last weekend in Manenberg.

“The suspect made his court appearance yesterday in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on a charge of murder.”

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Booise was also recently laid to rest.

Her boyfriend, Richard Smit, a police officer, is facing a murder charge.

The State is set to prove Smit shot Booise in front of her 11-year-old child in Piketberg two weeks ago.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalia, said: “He is charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Natasha Booise, two counts of attempted murder, discharging a firearm in a built-up area, and handling of a firearm while under the influence of a substance which has an intoxicating or narcotic effect.

“The case has been postponed until 17 February 2022 for a formal bail application. Richard Smit appeared in the Piketberg Magistrate’s Court today (Monday). The 24th February 2022 was reserved for conviction of the bail if that is necessary.”

An online petition calling for bail to be denied reached 11 000, while a memorandum and petition handed over to the courts contained 3 000 signatures.

Activist, Roegshanda Pascoe, took to social media this week, calling on women from all walks of life to mobilise and be ready when the plea was taken to the Constitutional Court.

“The Western Cape is always in mourning. We are calling on all the women in the Western Cape. We are never taken seriously. Every day we find our children killed and murdered. As an activist, I hate just speaking. People ask what we can do.

“I want to make a plea, no matter the creed, this is a genocide on the women of South Africa, not just the Western Cape.

“As women, as mothers, nurturers and carers, when I say enough is enough, I do not want to do another march.

“I say let us unite.

“We need you South African women, in all our spheres, whether you are DA or ANC. I am saying to you, are you waiting until it is your daughter or son. We need your strength, this is our call, enough of talking. This is the action we will be taking, we need you all to support us. When we go to Constitution Hill, the chief justice of the court must come and hear us. We want our day in the Constitutional Court as women of this country.

“This is not just another death, her remains will be laid to rest and we will never forget.”

She said the cases proved there was a time for unity after 21 women and children were murdered during lockdown.

“In South Africa, between 25% and 40% of women have experienced sexual and/or physical violence at the hands of their partners, in their lifetime.

“During the start of the Covid-19 national level three lockdown, 21 women and children were murdered in a space of two weeks, resulting in President Ramaphosa calling gender-based violence (GBV) the second epidemic in our country.

“These are not just statistics, these are the lives of our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, friends, colleagues and comrades,” Pascoe said.

Weekend Argus