Elizabeth Mine can’t find peace and closure ever since her daughter’s death because her murder has “never been investigated” by the police, the 55-year-old has alleged, saying she always asks herself what happened to her daughter’s case.
“I can’t find closure and sleep in the evenings. I am always hurt because there’s still no justice for my child,” she cried.
Mumsie Mine’s body was found in the bushveld last year near an informal settlement in Brakpan after she was reported missing.
“This happened last year in June. I remember receiving a call from her colleagues asking why she was not at work. It was on a Sunday morning. On Monday she was still not at work and the following day we went out for a search before I reported to the police.”
The mother of three said they searched for her first-born for a week before she received another call from Mumsie’s neighbour who told her to come and view a dead body in the bushveld.
“Her body was naked and she was burnt,” said Mine as she was overcome by emotion.
She said she opened a case of murder at Brakpan police station, but it has never been attended to.
“There is still no update from the police even today. After burying her, I went to the police station twice to check how far they were with the investigations and I was told the officer who was probing the case was not there.
“They never said if he was on leave or not. The last time I spoke to that officer was at the scene and he told me that he would call me. I am still waiting for his call to this day,” said Mine.
However, Mine has alleged that a man known to the family is responsible for Mumsie’s murder.
“He was abusive and she used to tell me how he used to beat her.”
Mumsie’s 16-year daughter said she witnessed how this man often beat her mother.
“The last incident happened days before she was killed. On that day he even destroyed her phones,” she said.
Gauteng spokespersons Captain Mavela Masondo and Colonel Noxolo Kweza did not respond to questions sent by the Sunday Independent.
Gender-based violence has also been on the rise since the Covid-19 lockdown, with a growing number of calls for stronger action to protect women and children from murderers and sex predators.
In Vosloorus, police were searching for a man who allegedly shot and killed his 21-year-old girlfriend and her mother two weeks ago.
Last week, a man appeared in the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court after he allegedly stabbed a woman to death.
A 20-year-old woman was also raped and killed in the Dali Mpofu informal settlement, while a 58-year-old woman and her two grandchildren were killed in their house in Soweto.
More than 87 000 cases of genderbased violence complaints were received by police in last tear. During the first week of the Covid-19 lockdown in March, police recorded 2300 complaints of gender-based violence, while the femicide command centre, which runs a toll-free, 24/7 emergency call centre, recorded more than 120 000 calls to
the helpline for abused women and children.
According to the SAPS, gender-based violence has been on the rise over the last two years.
Altogether almost 180 000 crimes against women were recorded in 2018 and last year.
More than 2700 women were murdered, and almost 3 500 were victims of attempted murder. A further 83 000 women were victims of assault; more than 54000 of these cases were recorded as assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Brian Sithole of One Strong Voice Foundation said femicide and genderbased violence became a new pandemic in 2020 because police were not informed on how to deal with such cases.
“Even though the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) has given gender-based violence a priority, the person (police) who is dealing with it on the ground is not in par. They need to be taken to school to understand how to deal with matters on gender-based violence,” he said.
SA Commission for Gender Equality commissioner Mbuyiselo Botha said one
of the major reasons why the country was not able to deal with gender-based violence and femicide was reluctance to do so on the part of some sectors of the police.
“Some of them may be less enthusiastic to follow these cases.
“As the commission, we told the national commissioner of police that it is important that police follow up these cases.
“Women must have confidence in how police do their detective work so that there’s confidence by survivors and victims that arrests would be made.”