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Enough is enough: women killers deserve death penalty


Enough is enough: women killers deserve death penalty

The number of women and children sexually violated in one year alone would fill Loftus Versfeld stadium

Sipho Dibakwane

Here we are. Another woman is dead. Her name was Khensani Maseko, a third-year law student from Rhodes University and a member of the student representative council.
She was allegedly raped. The alleged perpetrator of this heinous crime is her own lover and boyfriend. Two months earlier, before penning this article, another crime against a woman was committed. The name of the victim: Zolile Khumalo. She was a student at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi, Durban.
She met her untimely death not at the hands of a stranger. She was not in a car accident, nor did she have a long-term sickness. Zolile Khumalo was allegedly murdered by a person with whom she shared intimacy and love. Her ex-boyfriend has been arrested for her murder.
This is a sad tale. This death came in the same week that Sandile Mantsoe, the boyfriend and killer of Karabo Mokoena, was sentenced to 32 years in jail.
We have witnessed the passing  of young lives. Earlier in the year we had to learn with shock and dismay about how albino children were killed in eMalahleni for ritual purposes. We also learnt of the killings of beautiful young women in Soweto. Their names were Lerato Moloi, Popi Qwabe and Bongeka Phungula. Three men were arrested for the murders of these three women, whose bodies were discovered in and around Naledi, Soweto.According to the police crime statistics of 2016/17, rape, which is categorised under sexual offences, is the second-most committed in SA after murder. Other crimes detailed in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Act include compelled rape, sexual assault, incest, bestiality, statutory rape and sexual grooming of children. In 2016/17, 49,660 sexual offences were recorded by the police. In practical terms, this means that the number of women and children were sexually violated by South African men in one year alone would fill Loftus Versfeld stadium to capacity.
The report further indicates that an average of 109.1 rapes were recorded each day of 2016/17. This is abnormal. We are an extremely sick country.
These South African police statistics are the reported and recorded cases. However, we still wonder and worry about those cases that never make the headlines; those cases that go by unreported. 
Men kill women because they know they will spend only a few years behind bars before being released on parole. Our justice and corrections governance system is weak without capital punishment.
One wonders about the state of mind of women killers when they commit their dreadful evils. This is not on. Our moral fibre has been eroded. We do not deserve to be called the country of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. Our churches have lots work to do to bring our society back to a normal situation.In recent times we have had, and are still having, a debate about state capture. One can safely say we now have in our midst and daily lives the Women and Children Rape Capture. We must eradicate this phenomenon with every effort that we can implement. Efforts such as #Totalshutdown, #Notinmyname, #stopkillingwomen, #brothersforlife and Sisonke Gender Justice interventions give us hope. But they are not enough. We need more from all sectors of society.
We also appreciate the interventions and tireless work by our government in a bid to prevent women and children from being killed, raped and abused. We need even bigger and focused interventions from our government.
The current approach needs to be reformed. The government needs to introduce the death penalty. We can no longer afford to pay taxes that will provide meals, accommodation, medicine and clothing to convicted rapists and killers.
Parliament must bring the death penalty debate to our communities and let us decide. The energy that we have witnessed in dealing with the land question must be transposed to address the matter of rape, murder and other horrible crimes in our country. This must be done as urgently as possible.
All the big investments that have been recently injected recently through the Brics Summit of 2018 will come to nothing if the recipients continue to rape and murder one another.As a proponent of #bringbackdeath penalty, one is certain this motion will succeed. Examples around the world demonstrate that the death penalty is big deterrent for heinous crimes such as rape and murder.Our neighbour, Botswana, has the death penalty and there rape is a big no-no! Some states within the US, the world’s number one economy, have the death penalty.
Perhaps through the death penalty we can not only address the horrible crimes of murder and sexual assault, but also corruption, white-collar crime and economic crimes such as cable theft. We need to fix this country and bring it back to normality.
Assertions from some ordinary folk, such as: “I will kill you and go to jail – and then come back”, will come to a complete end.
The lives of Khensani, Karabo, Bongeka and Zolile have been cut short just by the stigma of rape, the click of a gun or the snap of a knife. Enough is enough. Let us bring back the death penalty for these men who are nothing but bloodthirsty killer animals.
Sipho Dibakwane is a Founder of the Impumelelo Educational Trust.

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