The community of Eersterust in Pretoria ignored the cold weather to make sure their voices are heard, as they took to the streets after yet another case of gender-based violence claimed the life of a local woman this weekend.
With adults holding up placards reading #JusticeForEvelyn, #FemaleLivesMatter and children holding up “stop killing our mothers” signs, hundreds marched through the streets to the family home of Evelyn de Kock, who was found brutally killed on Sunday.
Her boyfriend had reportedly asked for money from her family members in the morning as he was leaving for a new job opportunity.
Later that same day, De Kock’s body was discovered in an outside building of her family home with multiple stab wounds.
Her killing sparked a picket outside the scene of the crime with angered residents chanting “genoeg is genoeg” (enough is enough) as gender-based violence seemed to have spiked during the lockdown.
The brutal murder caught the attention of the minister of women, youth and persons with disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who attended the picket to speak to the family of De Kock.
The minister believes it is up to women to prevent gender-based violence by walking away from any sign of abuse from their loved ones.
“To our girl children, the first slap to your face is a good enough sign for you to start walking because we think we are going to have to deal with this matter through prevention,” said the minister.
Police arrested a 50-year-old suspect in connection with De Kock’s murder on Monday. The suspect was found hiding in Eldorado Park.
De Kock’s murder was among a list of brutal killings of women in the recent weeks across the country.
On Friday, a woman’s body was found under a tree in Dobsonville. The day before, Tshegofatso Pule was laid to rest after she was found stabbed and hanging from a tree in Roodepoort. Pule was eight months pregnant at the time.
The bodies of Altecia Kortjie and her seven-year-old daughter Raynecia were discovered by police in Cape Town on the same Friday. The two had been missing since Monday, 8 June.
Kortjie was found with multiple stab wounds while her daughter was found on the bathroom floor. A 28-year-old man was arrested for the murders.
But enough was enough, Nkoana-Mashabane said.
“Genoeg is genoeg. We are going to bury patriarchy and build solid families that don’t just depend on material things… We have come here to say to De Kock family – may Evelyn and all 11 young women who died around the country… in the hands of their loved ones, may their souls rest in eternal peace.”