Protea Glen community to hold prayer service in honour of murdered young woman

Protea Glen community to hold prayer service in honour of murdered young woman

The community of Protea Glen, in Soweto, will this evening hold a candlelight prayer service in honour of a 21-year-old woman who was brutally murdered.

Phuthi Ramara’s body was found dumped at a playground in Protea Glen Extension 31 on Monday.

The community is still reeling from shock following the grim discovery.

The murder occurred amid a nationwide 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children.

According to the police, Phuthi was beaten, raped and strangled to death with her pants.

She was identified by her tattoo of a tiger on her neck, a flower tattoo on her right leg and her name on her hand.

It is suspected that she was killed by people she knew.

Her family is calling for justice.

ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) Secretary in ward 135, Nelisiwe Yende, says the candlelight prayer session in Ramara’s honour will be held at 10217 Mount Cash Street Ext 12, Protea Glen at 6pm.

Ramara will be laid to rest on Sunday. 

Police spokesperson, Vincent Mashiteng, says no arrests have yet been made in the matter. – Report by Jozi FM News Editor Moshe Maswanganyi

Mhlabuyalingana community urged not to die in silence

Mhlabuyalingana community urged not to die in silence

The community of Mhlabuyalingana in Bhekabantu, KwaZulu-Natal, has been urged to reach out for help if they have domestic problems.

Various speakers made the call at the funeral service of four members of the Khumalo family.

Three of them are victims of a domestic violence case, in which the perpetrator also took his own life.

 Nkosingiphile Khumalo shot dead his Sbongeleni Ngubane-Khumalo and their three children on November 27.

Their daughter survived the incident and is in a critical condition at a Mpumalanga hospital.

The tragedy comes amid concerns over the high number of femicide in the country and a national campaign against gender-based violence.

The Mayor of KwaMhlabuyalingana Municipality, Nkululeko Mthethwa, was one of the speakers at the funeral.

He strongly encouraged the culture of speaking out when people are in trouble, because silence can lead to negative consequences and killings.

The Mayor of Umkhanyakude District Municipality, Solomon Mkhombo, agrees with Mthethwa, saying no one should die in silence.

Mkhombo encouraged various government structures to stand up and help communities to fight the scourge of violence.

A relative of the Khumalos, Philani Ngwenya, was first at the scene of the tragedy.

Ngwenya expressed shock at the incident, telling mourners that though he was close to the couple – he was not aware of any marital problems between them. 

He urged the KwaMhlabuyalingana community to pray for the child who is fighting for her life in hospital.

Joburg migrant activists say GBV programmes are not inclusive

Joburg migrant activists say GBV programmes are not inclusive

As South Africa commemorates 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, some migrant rights activists in Johannesburg are questioning the campaign and its programmes.

Speaking to Voice of Wits’ current affairs programme, Breaking Ground, human rights activist Nobuhle Agiti and the Head of Advocacy and Legal Advisor at Scalabrini, Sally Gandar, lamented the alleged discrimination of migrant workers from the country’s campaign against gender-based violence.

“To whom are these programmes designed for? Are they only for South Africans,” says Agiti.

Agiti and Gandar also say government’s policies somehow sideline migrants, making women more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Addressing issues faced by migrants and stateless people living in South Africa, another guest Vimbai Mabhena shared her journey of trying to get citizenship in the country.

She says she has had to bribe authorities for basic services such as medical care at state hospitals and sometimes even police officials.

Mabhena does not know where she was born nor who her parents are. She, however, says when she was young she was taken in by a couple from Zimbabwe who chased her out of their home during her teenage years.

She has since been searching for her roots, without luck.

Mabhena says she was once asked to pay R3 000 by a Home Affairs official for a birth certificate.

She says she refused to play along but her friend did pay a couple of authorities for identification, which led to her arrest.

Mabhena’s quest for citizenship is currently been handled by the Lawyers for Human Rights.

Legal expert Sally Gandar says the issue of statelessness does not only affect migrants, but South Africans whose births were never registered.

She is urging the government to introduce better measures to assist the previously disadvantaged communities to avoid them or their children ending up stateless due a lack of resources, among other issues.

She says birth registration enforcement by government is not enough in combating the risk of being stateless from childhood.

Laws anti-migrant friendly

Rights Activist Nobuhle Agiti says South African laws are not migrant friendly.

She feels that the government’s 16 days of activism campaign is xenophobic, as it does not include migrant women.

“We have an issue when it comes to police stations; when you go to report a case sometimes they ask you about your nationality something which is not relevant to whatever you would’ve gone there to report, so we go through so much as migrant women” said Agiti.

She adds that one of the women she was helping with a GBV case died due to the police delaying to assist her because she was a migrant.

The Gauteng Community Safety Department has denied assertions that the government’s GBV programmes discriminate against migrants.

The department’s Ofentse Morwane says that while the department’s programmes cover all women, police handle issues of undocumented persons.

Police in Gauteng have on the other hand dismissed bribery claims against officials as hearsay.

Gauteng Police Spokesperson Mathapelo Peters says, “Police have a responsibility to victims of crime. Those who feel they were treated unjustly have a right to lodge a complaint with the police or IPID (Independent Police Investigative Directorate).”

According to Statistics South Africa, 45.5% of international migrants settle in Gauteng.

While it is unclear how many of them are undocumented – the number is said to be extemely high.

Undocumented persons should be deported once found – but the Constitution prohibits public entities from refusing to assist those who need help.

According to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), Human rights are applicable to all people, therefore everyone in the country is entitled to human rights by virtue of being human.

“Section 27 of the Constitution entitles everyone to access basic healthcare services and no one may be denied emergency medical treatment, which means even undocumented migrants may not be refused emergency medical treatment on the basis of their lack of documentation; but they may be held liable to pay fees for any other health services,” the commisison says.