At a time that the country is reeling from incidents of gender-based violence (GBV) against women, Limpopo is on a knife-edge after two women had allegedly been killed by their partners hours after being granted bail for earlier alleged offences.
The incidents occurred at a time that the provincial department of social development in Limpopo had revealed that in the previous financial year, social workers responded and provided psychosocial support to 21 600 victims of gender-based violence and femicide.
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In the first of the two recent incidents, the victim, Mmapula Maria Letsoalo, 40, had opened a case of intimidation against the suspect in her subsequent killing, Matome Shadrack Matlakala, 47, who is believed to have been her boyfriend.
The charges followed after he allegedly threatened to shoot her.
The pair, according police spokesperson in Limpopo Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, apparently had a heated argument. The argument, Motlafela said, spiralled out of control upon which the suspect threatened to shoot Letsoalo with his firearm.
The suspect was later arrested and charged but released on bail. Mojapelo said that upon the suspect’s release he allegedly went to the victim’s home in Ga-Kgole Village at about 11.30pm and shot her dead.
He himself was later found dead with a shot wound at his home in the Ga-Makanye village. The firearm used in the suspected murder was found next to him.
Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe meanwhile ordered an internal probe into the circumstances surrounding the suspect’s release on bail.
In the second incident, the body of a school teacher, Dudu Masango, 27, was found with multiple stab wounds in her bedroom after her ex-boyfriend, against whom she earlier had laid a charge of rape, allegedly killed her.
The alleged killing took place a few hours after the suspect was released on R500 bail in the rape charge.
The deceased’s motor vehicle was later found abandoned in a field after a task team managed to apprehend the suspect.
The deceased’s cellphone and car keys were allegedly found in his possession. The suspect, Sfiso Nkabinde, 34, appeared in the Nebo Magistrate’s Court on 14 June on charges of murder and house robbery.
He has been remanded to 7 July in the murder case and will appear on 8 July on the prior charge of rape.
Limpopo police spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzangi said in Nkabinde’s case, no history of violence between the parties existed and no protection order opened.
Simon Letsoalo said their family was devastated by the loss of a daughter and that they wanted answers.