FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 February 2020
MEC KHOZA CALLS FOR LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR ALLEGED RAPISTS IN NQUTHU
KWAZULU-NATAL Social Development MEC, Mrs. Nonhlanhla Khoza, has conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of a 20-year-old Nquthu woman who was repeatedly raped and brutally murdered allegedly by her cousin and a neighbour at the weekend.
The young woman, identified as Nomvula “Juba” Buthelezi, was allegedly attacked by the two men on Saturday night at her homestead in the area of Mashesheleng under the Molefe clan in Nquthu.
“We are extremely disturbed and disheartened by the rape and murder of a young woman. It’s alleged that the attack occurred on Saturday night when she had just arrived back home from the nearby shop. The perpetrators allegedly gagged Nomvula before dragging her to another house within the homestead where she was repeatedly raped and strangled to death,” she said.
MEC Khoza was shocked to learn that one of the alleged rapists was the cousin to the deceased while the other one is her neighbour. “The mother of this young lady had assumed that she was with her aunt when she did not see her on Saturday night. The mother only heard the devastating news broken to her the next day while she was at church,” the MEC said.
The victim’s lifeless body had been discovered by family members in one of the houses in the homestead. It was covered in a blanket allegedly to give the impression that the person underneath it was asleep. The alleged perpetrator, the cousin, was arrested by police on Sunday while the neighbour was arrested on Monday.
MEC Khoza continued: “Clearly these two men were well known to the victim. Considering that one of them is her cousin who lived in the same homestead as her, there is very good reason to believe that she trusted him. These are the men who were supposed to protect her but they are the ones who violated her in the most possible way. Such incidents demonstrate that we are indeed a sick society. In calling for justice for Nomvula we want to see these vicious predators rot in prison.”
She added that although the Department of the Social Development subscribes to the legal maxim of innocence until proven otherwise, the justice system must show no mercy to those who violate the rights of women and children.
A team of social workers have been dispatched to the Buthelezi family to provide psycho-social support following the horrible incident.
At the weekend, the Department launched the Boys Assembly in uPhongolo in northern parts of the province as one of the initiatives to fight social ills such as gender-based violence.
In an unrelated incident, MEC Khoza also sent her condolence to family of the Grade 12 learner in Hlokozi High School in the Harry Gwala Region who swept to death by flash floods. “We know the pain that the family is going through and we sent social workers to provide support to the deceased family, schoolmates and teachers.”
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
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