Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
20 Jun 2017
5:20 am

Little progress on femicides

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The task team established to deal with the violent attacks has made eight arrests.

Former Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange established a task team to look into violent attacks on women in the province.

More than a month after several women around Gauteng died in a spate of violent attacks that shocked many people in the country, police say the task team established to deal with the cases has made no new arrests.

So far, just eight men have been arrested in connection with recent cases of kidnapping, rape and the murders of young women around the province.

The task team was established by Gauteng police commissioner Deliwe de Lange on May 17, when the death toll that weekend had risen to 10.

It comprises 16 detectives.

Asked about the progress of the investigations so far, police service spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said that police were still looking for more suspects.

“Three of the suspects were linked with kidnapping and rape where victims were attacked inside a minibus. Two of the suspects are appearing in Lenasia Magistrate’s Court in connection with a case that was committed in Kliptown. The third suspect is appearing at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court in connection with an incident in Booysens.”

The other five suspects, Dlamini said, were arrested for the murder of women who were found in Soweto.

Two suspects were arrested in connection with the deaths of two victims from KwaZulu-Natal. Two others were arrested for the death of a third woman, who was found in Naledi.

Sixty-three women had been murdered in just 30 days, according to police statistics, between April 1 and May 21.

On May 31, best friends Bongeka Phungula, 28, and Popi Qwabe, 24, were both found dead, having allegedly also been raped. Their bodies were dumped in an open veld in Soweto.

Eskom employee Thembisile Yende, who had been missing for two weeks, was found dead in an office after allegedly having been strangled.

Last month, De Lange said intelligence officers were operating around so-called hotspots, where many women around the province had been attacked. – simnikiweh@citizen.co.za