South Africans are again up in arms after another 20-year-old young woman, Kwasa Zozo Lugano, was allegedly killed by her 19-year-old ex-boyfriend for leaving him.
Zozo, a first year student at Wits University, was stabbed three times in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape on Monday, allegedly by an ex-boyfriend who did not want her to leave him.
#JusticeForKwasa trended on Twitter on Tuesday.
According to screen shots of online conversations she apparently had with friends, the relationship was abusive and the accused would allegedly threaten to commit suicide if she left him.
In another conversation, she said he allegedly took her to an isolated dark place and told her he would kill her first before killing himself because she had apparently told him “only death would separate them”.
“I tried talking to him and told him I was cold where we were standing and he agreed for us to move to a place where there was light. Luckily (a friend) called the police and that’s how I survived,” one message read.
She further alleged she had been told by those close to the accused to “pretend” to be in a relationship with him “for my safety” out of fear.
“When we got back together things got worse. I was accused of cheating not once but several times but stupid me stayed. But I came to a point where I had had enough. I broke up with him this time for good. That day he hit me and slapped me twice,” she said.
According to Eastern Cape police, the man was seen “chasing his girlfriend at the flats where she was residing” before allegedly stabbing her on Monday afternoon.
“The motive behind the murder is not known and forms part of the investigation.
“The suspect whose age is not known has been admitted at Butterworth Hospital after he overdosed himself with tablets. He is under the police guard and, once he is discharged, he will be charged for murder,” said the police.
My little sister’s friend, a beautiful joy to me and my family. She was stabbed to death by a boy because she didn’t want him. I don’t even know what to say. Ngxesi Malebomvu ntombi encinci. Uphumle ngoxolo❤#JusticeForKwasa #RIPKwasa pic.twitter.com/Ys1aFdwpJv
— Zozibini Tunzi (@zozitunzi) August 18, 2020
In a statement, Wits University has slammed the senseless murder, calling on government to protect women.
“This fatal incident follows the brutal murder of Uyinene one year on. South Africa finds itself once again outraged at the senseless and violent murder of a young woman and student.
“It is no longer enough for government to tell us that they are putting together teams to evaluate the problem and come up with solutions. The problem is clear, women are being murdered in shocking numbers by men in South Africa. Women live in fear of being murdered in their homes, workplaces, schools, universities, family homes, post offices, velds, parks, vineyards, holiday destinations and streets.”
The university further called on police stations and families to stop protecting perpetrators.
“The problem is that when women go to police stations to report their abuse they are told it is a domestic issue that should be dealt with by the family; that the perpetrator will calm down or that they should come back the next day as the person to report to is not available. The problem is that communities and families protect perpetrator and send their victims back to them.
“The problem is that we have turned these men into magical creatures. The men who beat, rape and kill women in South Africa are not monsters. They are men. They are our partners, our fathers and our brothers. They are no more magical or or fantastical than a bank robber or a thief. They are not possessed or acting out of character. They are human beings who live among us, capable of independent thought, capable of being held accountable for their actions.
— #JusticeForKwasa???????? (@Ane_Mniki) August 18, 2020
“Women are tired of being responsible for not being abused. Women are tired of marching and demanding to be treated as equal citizens in South Africa who are afforded the same freedoms are men. Kwasa’s murderer was sober when he took her life. He had threatened her that he would take her life if she left him. His family asked her to stay for her own safety. The solution is that we must realise that the men who abuse and murder women are men we know and men we protect by denying the existence of their violent behaviour. There has been enough talk of what real men do or do not do.
“The reality is that men are killing women for sport in South Africa. it is time that the South African government take responsibility for its citizens – both abused and abuser. Implement the many laws created to protect individuals, hold to account those who fail to do their jobs and fire those whose actions or inaction leads to the death of those who are abused. We are tired of mourning the loss of the lives of women across South Africa. Thank you for being brave enough to leave, Kwasa. We are sorry that you were not protected when you made the choice. Rest in peace.”
The university further called on government to implement existing legislation to hold murderers, rapists and abusers accountable.
“Schools must create effective curricula that speak to gender equity and diversity,” it said.
Additional reporting by News24 Wire