THE IFP Women’s Brigade has called on government to bring back the death penalty for those who kill women, national chairperson Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa said.
“Women die every day in South Africa and the culprits are given lenient sentences which do not send a strong message to would-be perpetrators,” she said.
Madlopha-Mthethwa’s comments come after university student Zolile Khumalo’s killing at a Durban student residence. Khumalo was allegedly shot dead by her ex-lover Thabani Mzolo.
Madlopha-Mthethwa spoke to the Sunday Tribune after she attended Mzolo’s court appearance at the Durban Magistrate Court on Thursday.
“The people who continue to kill women must get death penalty so that no one would dare lay his hands on any woman.”
She cited the 13 years jail sentence meted out against convicted murderer and former Olympian Oscar Pistorius, who shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
And while convicted murderer Sandile Mantsoe was serving the second week of a 32 year sentence for murdering Karabo Mokoena, Madlopha-Mthethwa said he should rot in jail.
“The same thing applies to the person who [allegedly] killed Zolile. We will make sure he gets a harsh sentence,” she said.
Madlopha-Mthethwa lauded the ANC women’s league in KZN, IFP women’s brigade and DA women’s network for working together in mobilizing support for Khumalo.
“We can’t be politicking on such a serious issue of femicide. We must be united as women organisations in fighting the scourge.”
The death penalty was abolished in 1995, a year after the democratic government led by former President Nelson Mandela took over.
President of the ANC Women’s League, Bathabile Dlamini said: “The abuse of women is linked to patriarchy and human rights. It happens to all women.”
Like Madlopha-Mthethwa, Dlamini, who is the Minister of Women and Children in the Presidency urged political parties to put aside their political differences and fight violence that is directed to women.
Dlamini was among the scores of people who attended the court proceedings on Thursday.
Shehana Kajee, the chairperson of the DA Women’s Network said: “We are against the death penalty but we want the culprits to be put away for a long time,” she said.