One hundred pepper sprays with pouches and whistles were handed to women in Ezingqolweni village in Cacadu, during a gender-based violence awareness campaign, after the recent murder of six community members.
MP Nonkosi Mvana, whose constituency office is based in Emalahleni Local Municipality (ELM), said president Cyril Ramaphosa had allocated a budget to focus on GBV scourge in SA.
Mvana said: ”It is two days after Human Rights Day, which stems from Sharpeville Massacre day.
“We are a disgrace in the world. It is difficult for me to say I come from the Eastern Cape.
“I asked police if there was a community policing forum in the village, but there is not. ”We have to form one today. We have experts who know how to form one. There is no way things can remain as before in this village.”
Mvana said the visit was aimed at creating awareness. ”This is the year of activist Charlotte Maxeke. “She was the intellect of women, which requires us to follow in the footsteps of the women of her time.”
A resident who cannot be named, for safety reasons, said her protection said life in the village was difficult, especially for single women.
”Our children work in Cape Town and they cannot leave work to come and look after us. “It grieves us that no arrests were made and the most painful thing is that some women know who is behind the murders but they are afraid to go forward with the information. “Other women defend the culprits. It is an agonising situation. “What makes the matter worse is that alcohol and the drugs are being sold in the village.”
Another community member said crime was rife and had increased in Ezingqolweni since last year.
He said a pattern that residents noticed was that crime occurred at the beginning of every month, which coincided with the grant payment period.
”Last year, a young man was stabbed who we think had gone to collect a grant payment. “A woman was murdered in January this year. At the beginning of February, three women and a man were murdered in the same night. This has affected our lives. People do not sleep at night – they are afraid.”
He said the company members were calling for , as they protection, as they were being attacked in their own homes.
He said it was not only the elderly who were victamised, as a young couple was attacked in their go recently as well.
”We have no security. We ask legal entities to play their role. “Our worry is that many residents live alone, their families are based in other provinces. They can be attacked any time. “Our doors are knocked down, windows broken and people’s throats are slit. “We wish for the sun not to set because of the fear we are gripped with. No one is at peace in the community. “We wish people would not lose their lives without anyone being arrested and suspects must be thoroughly investigated.”
Emalahleni Local Municipality mayor Nontombizanele Koni said: “We came here because of the horrific murder incident which took the country by storm. “Last time we came here with the police and said we would speak to a member of parliament because crime had not subsided. Uncedo Taxi Service and Association also assisted in this program.”