The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development, Mrs Nonhlanhla Khoza, has called for calm in Nquthu area, following the rape and murder of a Grade 9 learner.
It is alleged that a teenage girl, Lethokuhle Ntombela,15, was assigned to Mgxangala village when she was attacked by a local boy at the weekend.
It is alleged that Ntombela was sleeping with her aunt who left the her (the deceased) to meetup with a boyfriend who arrived at 3h00AM.
The aunt went outside and left the suspect, who is known to the family, in the house.
When she came back after 30-35 minutes, the teenager appeared to have been raped and deceased. It is alleged that the perpetrator suffocated the teenager while raping her and she died on the scene.
Traditional leadership had to convene a series of urgent meetings to calm the situation after a message spread that the Kabane community wanted to attack.
The situation had threatened women in the villages who feared the eruption of a faction fight.
MEC Khoza has strongly condemned the incident.
"It is very disturbing that a rapist has thrown the lives of the community into disarray. The barbaric nature of the attack of an innocent teenage girl is an indication that we have immoral people within communities," she said.
MEC Khoza commended the law enforcement agencies for the speedy arrest of the perpetrator.
MEC Khoza said the incident of this nature calls upon members of the community to work together and isolate criminals.
“The violence directed to women and children needs a joint effort to fight it. We also need to see police working around the clock with the help of community members to ensure that cases of gender-based violence are eradicated. Equally, members of the community must not engage in criminal activities to fight crime,” said MEC Khoza.
She reiterated that police will spare no effort in apprehending all those involved in gender-based violence related cases.
"All criminals and those who are behind violent attack on women or involved in any form of gender-based violence should not be allowed to roam in our streets, but should be sent to prison."
MEC Khoza has dispatched a team of social workers to the area to provide psycho-social support to the Ntombela family, to her schoolmates and the community affected by the horrible incident.
ISSUED BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT