The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) welcomes the 75 years sentence handed down to Thabang Clement Ntsau at the Court sitting in Harrismith, Free State. Ntsau has been terrorizing the communities of Namahadi, Tseki, Makwane and Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State.
The Commission believes Ntsau's sentencing for amongst others, rape of women must be a turning point in how gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) and other related cases are treated by the judicial system.
"The Commission is particularly pleased that the judgement resonates with what His Excellency President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa called for during the State of the Nation Address, subsequently when he addressed the nation on the 5th September 2019 whilst responding to the GBV memorandum by activists and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). President Ramaphosa called for harsher punishment against perpetrators of GBVF. Something the Commission has been decrying for years", Said Mme Tamara Mathebula, the Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality.
Equally, the Commission applauds the justice system for finally handing the guilty verdict to Dumisani Mkhwanazi for murdering UJ student Palesa Madiba in 2013. Although, it took 7 years to arrive at this point, the Commission is pleased that the man who tried all avenues to evade the police will finally serve his sentence. This will also help Palesa's family to find closure as they deal with this life-long trauma and violence that they must live with.
Of great importance is that the sentencing of Ntsau and the guilty verdict handed to Mkhwanazi happen during the time when country and the entire globe are observing 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children. The Gender Commission believes this will send a strong and unequivocal message out that the judicial system is taking the fight against gender-based violence seriously.
The Gender Commission also extends its heartfelt appreciation to the investigators of the two cases without whom we will not be talking about sentencing of Ntsau and the guilty verdict against Mkwanazi.
The CGE once again implore on South Africans to join hands as part of the 365 Days of No Violence against Women to continue raising awareness and advocating against the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. As 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children campaign continues, the Gender Commission through community outreach and public information activities, continues to engage both boys and men about their role and responsibilities in ending gender-based violence and femicide. We hope through these campaign boys and men will unlearn harmful behaviours and become citizens who respect human rights and understand that women's rights are also human rights.